By PATRICK SLACK
The season started almost as well as it could for the Pierz girls basketball team against visiting Pequot Lakes, Tuesday.
The Pioneers jumped out to an early 10-3 lead and went ahead by as much as 12 in the second half, never trailing the Patriots until 5:47 remained in the game.
But after trading leads over the next two minutes, Pequot Lakes, which placed fourth in the Class AA state tournament last season, sank four key free throws down the stretch to stave off Pierz’ upset threat and pull out a 75-69 win.
Sophomore Kayla Carter led Pierz offensively with 18 points, followed in double figures by junior Bridget Bednar (15), senior Elizabeth Tomala (11) and junior Tiara Hopkins (10).
Seniors Megan Boser (7) and Alyssa Boser (6) and junior Kailey Egan (2) also provided scoring for the Pioneers.
“We played a great game, but could not finish them off in the second half,” Pierz head coach Rich Teske said. “We need to rebound better as a team, but I am very proud of the girls heart last night.”
Pierz plays at Little Falls, Thursday.
Pequot Lakes 75, Pierz 69
Pequot Lakes 31 44 – 75
Pierz 35 34 – 69
Pierz—Kayla Carter, 18; Bridget Bednar 15; Elizabeth Tomala, 11; Tiara Hopkins, 10; Megan Boser, 7; Alyssa Boser, 6; Kailey Egan, 2.