Rush City hosted Pine City on Friday night.
There was a lot to play for on this night between the two rivals. Not only was it conference game but it was also a section game as well. The Tigers looked to smash the Dragons conference title hopes, while Pine City needed a win to hold onto such hopes.
The first half got off to a nice start for Rush City, after allowing a few open shots from Pine City. The Tigers had a big turnaround and began to shut down the Dragon offense, while their defense created what seemed like endless turnovers. The defense did its job and the offense was given plenty of opportunities to pull away which they capitalized on. Rush City jumped to a double digit lead and it seemed like a runaway. But Pine City wasn't going to go down so easily. They pulled out some three point magic and hit 5 or so in a row and erased the deficit and were within a score even before the 1st half ended. Rush City did correct some things on the fly and again made things difficult for Pine City on offense. But before half the Dragons were able to pull out in front by one 39-38.
The second half was sure to see even more intensity, and it sure didn't disappoint. Even though the lead never changed hands in the second half there was still plenty going on. The Dragons started to drain clock on offense, but the Tigers seemed to hit a lull with their offense. Late in the half the Tiger offense gained traction and pull within a couple of scores. Unfortunately, they ran into a bit of foul trouble and were forced to send Pine City to the charity stripe. Pine City capitalized at the free throw line and kept the game out of reach despite Rush City hitting some late threes.
The Dragons came out on top 76-69.
Pine City moved to 9-6 on the season before falling to Hiawatha Collegiate on Saturday to drop them to 9-7. But they now sit at 3-1 in the section and 6-1 in the Great River Conference. They will play against East Central on Monday which will have a big impact on the conference title chase.
Rush City falls to 6-6 on the year and 5-3 in the conference. They are only 0-2 in the section with both losses against Pine City. The Tigers will face section opponent Milaca on Thursday.
Photo Credit: Four Seasons Photography