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Slow second half leads to season-ending loss

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SRR falls to Apollo 72-53

        If one did not know the date during the March 6 Storm boys basketball game against the Eagles at Apollo High School in St. Cloud, one may have thought they were watching a re-run of a previous matchup.
    The Section 8AAA semifinal game between the two teams had an eerie familiarity: a Storm lead at half and then a less than stellar second half to allow Apollo to pull into the lead and throw Sauk Rapids-Rice behind to earn a win.
    “It’s simply the difference of our shots falling in the first half and not falling in the second half,” said Derek Peterson, SRR boys basketball head coach. “The shots we missed were rebounded by Apollo, and then they ran the floor well and made some of those transition baskets.”
    Senior guard Kobe Lee built ground early in the game, sinking 20 of the Storm’s 35 points in the first half. Lee led the team with 25 points.
    Peterson said he was happy to see that Lee’s last game a positive one. Lee has been a strong player overall not only at the basket for scoring but on defense with rebounds, assists and ball handling.
    The game ended the season for the Storm. SRR started with three back-to-back wins to open the season but then began falling short. The Storm won eight of its last 16 games to improve to a 5-11 Central Lakes Conference record with a 11-17 overall.
    “Our win-loss record was disappointing,” Peterson said. “We wanted to win more, and we had several close games that we could have won. I really think we played good basketball all year, but we had a tough schedule. Many of the teams we faced are fighting to go to state.”
    The team’s eight seniors have had an extensive basketball career. Lee, Josh Schloe, Brayden Kotcho, Nathan Valek, Landry Seaman, Charlie Rucks, Josh Krebs and Nick Schmitt have been playing basketball together since third grade.
    “This group is special,” Peterson said. “They showed a lot of leadership and that helps the program and shows the younger kids what it takes. Our season was an overall success.”
SRR        35 18-53
Apollo    31 41-72
    SRR: Lee 25 points, Schloe 11, Ethan Opsahl 10, Landry Seaman 4 and Alex Harren 3.