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Boys' Basketball: Park runs out of steam in two losses

Park head coach Ed Cassidy noticed a trend in Park's two losses in three games last week.

The Wolfpack kept both games close and put themselves in a position to contend. But against both Mounds View and Minneapolis Southwest, they did not have enough steam to hold on until the final buzzer.

The week started with a 72-63 loss to Mounds View in a Feb. 7 home game. Park trailed 36-27 at halftime but reduced the deficit to three points in the second half before the Mustangs pulled away.

Brendan Beaulieu scored 21 points to lead the Wolfpack, while Brandon Alt scored 13 and Charlie Gorres finished with 12. Cassidy said Gorres and Beaulieu led the charge as the Wolfpack trimmed the deficit to one point in the second half.

"We got some stops, made some baskets," Cassidy said.

Mounds View's offense was led by Nick McMillan's 35 points. Cassidy credited the senior guard for making defense a challenge for the Wolfpack in the Suburban East Conference game.

"We would come out to defend the three, and then he would dribble by us," Cassidy said. "We were not very efficient on the defensive end with getting help on him."

The Mounds View game was a makeup from December when winter weather forced a postponement. The weather makeup resulted in back-to-back games as Park had scheduled a Feb. 8 road game against Minneapolis Southwest.

The two games had a similar feel as Park built an early seven-point lead. But Southwest came back to tie the game 25-25 at halftime before pulling away for a 59-46 victory.

"It was the same kind of thing," Cassidy said. "We played well, hung in there and kind of ran out of gas at the end."

Gorres led Park with 18 points scored while Beaulieu finished with 15 points.

The Wolfpack bounced back with a 97-60 win at Community of Peace Academy in St. Paul Friday. Cassidy said the Wolfpack used Thursday as an opportunity to recharge, and it paid off in the nonconference win.

"We had a good practice leading up to that game," Cassidy said. "I guess we got the cobwebs out of our head and got the dark cloud out of there and had a more positive attitude. We talked about the value of possessions, where sometimes we try to do too much with the ball."

Cassidy said the Wolfpack played well on defense and only committed six turnovers offensively. They started two guards in the game, Blake Petschen and Josh Kuemmel, and that had a positive effect.

Gorres scored a career-high 30 points to lead Park's offense. Alt had 19 points, and Beaulieu finished with 17.

Park is scheduled to play both of its District 833 rivals this week. The Wolfpack are set to play at Woodbury Tuesday before hosting East Ridge Friday.

Blaze Fugina

Blaze Fugina is the sports editor of the Woodbury and South Washington County Bulletin newspapers. Previously, Blaze worked as a sports editor for the Pierce County Herald and a sports reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in May of 2011. You can follow Blaze on Twitter at @BlazeFugina.

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