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M-Leeds falls at Region 4 Tournament

By Staff | Mar 12, 2010

It was not the start Minnewaukan-Leeds wanted, nor the finish.

The Lions’ season came to a quick end in the first round of the Region 4 boys basketball tournament on March 8 in Devils Lake.

Top-seeded Carrington, of District 7, led 12-2 after one quarter and the Lions simply couldn’t shoot their way back into the contest, falling 65-34. M-L ended its season at 8-15.

“Our problem (against Carrington) was our problem all season; our shooting,’ said Lions coach Mark Swanson. “Our field goal percentage was just 20 percent and that’s not going to win you games.”

M-L junior Matt Swanson was double and sometimes triple-teamed, but still found a way to score right around his season average, netting 17 points. Unfortunately, the Lions couldn’t get another player or two in double figures.

Carrington’s offense, on the other hand, showed it has a balanced attack as four players were in double figures.

Heading into the game Swanson said his team needed to cut down on turnovers, attack the basket and not allow the Cardinals to hold a decisive edge in rebounding. “I thought we did all those things,’ he said. “In fact, we even got a few of their player into foul trouble, but again our poor shooting just killed us.”

The fact the Lions reached the region tournament for a sixth straight year is impressive. The squad won just six regular season games and was the seventh seed entering their district tournament.

“I think we overachieved, considering we had just one senior in our lineup and the injuries and some other issues we had to contend with,’ Swanson said. “Our goal is to be playing our best basketball at the end of the year, and we did that.”

However, M-L needed a better effort to have any shot at advancing to the semifinal round, and Carrington was not going to be an upset victim.

The loss not only marked the end of the Lions season, but quite possibly the end of the seven-year co-op between the Minnewaukan and Leeds schools. The co-op has enjoyed plenty of success, including an appearance in the region title game in 2005 against New Rockford-Sheyenne.

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