Two wins in one night
LaFord reaches milestone, Wolves hold off BR-H
HARRIS — Brett LaFord was chasing more than 1,000 points.
The Carney-Nadeau senior point guard entered Tuesday’s Skyline Central Conference rivalry game at Bark River-Harris just 17 points shy of 1,000, but he wanted the victory just as bad.
He got both.
LaFord scored 17 points and three other Wolves hit double figures as they hung on for a 62-56 victory.
Carney (11-7, 10-4 SC) led 51-43 after a fast-break layup by LaFord with 6:22 left, but the Broncos scored the next six points to pull within 51-49 on a lay-in by Trenton Wood-Keshick with 4:15 to play. After LaFord knocked down a pair of free throws, Zach Robinette tripled from the right wing to pull the Broncos (7-8, 6-7 SC) within one.
Brayden Kakuk then answered with a clutch triple of his own from the top of the key, and LaFord reached the 1,000-point mark with a pair of free throws with 1:48 left to give the Wolves a 58-52 advantage. Beau Koffman then sealed the game with a tough layup in traffic to give Carney an eight-point cushion with 1:25 remaining.
“This is a tough place for us to play. Bark River’s got a pretty quality team as far as our matchups here,” C-N coach Paul Polfus said. “I was very, very happy with this win tonight. I thought our kids did the things down the stretch we needed to do that we weren’t doing earlier in the year.”
The Wolves entered the fourth quarter leading 46-41, with LaFord just six points shy of the milestone with his family in attendance. He admitted it was a tough balance between trying to reach that mark and still being able to focus on closing out a game.
“That was definitely tough,” he said. “I had to control myself because coming down to the end there I (needed) like four points with four minutes left… It was probably one of the hardest things I ever did.”
The Broncos jumped out to an 8-3 lead just three minutes into the contest with a layup by Wood-Keshick before the Wolves responded with a 17-3 run.
The run was helped along when Koffman was fouled on a 3-point attempt, much to the displeasure of BR-H coach Marc Zawacki. Zawacki was whistled for a technical foul, giving Koffman five free throw attempts. He hit four of them, giving C-N a 14-11 advantage at the end of the first quarter.
The Wolves led 27-21 at halftime before the Broncos started the second half on an 11-4 run to pull ahead 32-31 midway through the third quarter. They took their last lead at 38-37 on a layup by Dylon Lippens with 2:10 left in the quarter, as C-N responded with a 14-5 run to go up 51-43 on LaFord’s layup.
Zawacki felt the game came down to turnovers and missed shots at key times.
“I was happy with our effort and the way we came out and played,” he said. “I think it came down to some key turnovers, and they hit some shots when they needed to. We didn’t hit some shots when we needed to. I knew coming into this game it would be a close game. Obviously, I would have liked the score to have been the other way, but anytime we play them it’s a tight game.”
Max Baumler had 16 points and four triples for the Wolves, who committed just six turnovers. Koffman added 14 points, while Kakuk tied his season-high with 12.
“I thought Brayden Kakuk made a couple big shots in the end,” Polfus said. “He made a couple free throws, then made that 3 that put us back up four. Beau Koffman made a tough shot. It was sort of a group effort. All night long it was kind of like that on both ends of the floor.”
Riley Bray led the Broncos with a game-high 20 points, while Wood-Keshick added 12. BR-H committed 16 turnovers.
The Broncos, who won the JV game 37-34, visit Forest Park Friday. C-N visits North Dickinson Friday.
Carney-Nadeau 14 13 19 16 — 62
Bark River-Harris 11 10 20 15 — 56
Carney-Nadeau — Kakuk 12, Koffman 14, J. LaFord 3, B. LaFord 17, Baumler 16. FT: 14-18; F: 12; Fouled out: Flanagan. 3-point field goals: Baumler 4, Kakuk 2, Koffman 2, B. LaFord 1, J. LaFord 1.
Bark River-Harris — Bray 20, Z. Robinette 3, Javurek 6, Wood-Keshick 12, J. Robinette 2, Zawacki 7, Lippens 6. FT: 3-6; F: 17; Fouled out: None. Technical foul: coach Zawacki. 3-point field goals: Bray 3, Z. Robinette 1, Zawacki 1.