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Class 4A, Section 3 semifinals: Park of Cottage Grove rallies past Bloomington Jefferson

By Ryan Williamson, SportsEngine, 03/12/22, 6:15PM CST


The Wolfpack trailed the Jaguars by as many as 12 points in the second half, but they found a way to advance to the final.

Jamari Walker of the Wolfpack gets the slam dunk in the closing seconds of the Class 4A, Section 3 Semifinal Saturday night. The Wolfpack defeated the Jaguar’s 72-68 in front of the home crowd. Photo by Earl J. Ebensteiner, SportsEngine

After giving up three consecutive baskets to open the second half, Park of Cottage Grove coach Mike Weah called timeout as his team was down 12 points less than two minutes into the second half.

With the Bloomington Jefferson crowd roaring with excitement, Weah gave his team an impassioned speech.

The Wolfpack’s Pharrel Payne had a team-high 22 points Saturday night in the Wolfpack’s 72-68 win over the Jaguar’s in the Class 4A, Section 3 Semifinal. Photo by Earl J. Ebensteiner SportsEngine

First Report

After trailing by as many as 12 points in the second half, Park of Cottage Grove rallied on its home floor to defeat Bloomington Jefferson in the Class 4A, Section 3 semifinal on Saturday, 72-68.

Bloomington Jefferson (20-7) entered halftime leading 35-29. Senior guard Hayden Holland paced the Jaguars with 12 first-half points. He finished with 20. 

In the second half, the Jaguars opened with a 6-0 run and held a lead of double-digits until about 12 minutes left in the second half. Bloomington Jefferson sophomore guard Daniel Freitag was the best source of scoring for the Jaguars in the second half as he finished with a team-high 28 points. 

The Wolfpack (20-8) battled back thanks to senior forwards Pharrell Payne and Evan Bearth. Payne, a six-foot-9 big man headed to the University of Minnesota, was a force in the middle and finished with 22 points.

As for Bearth, his scoring contributions all came in the second half. He knocked down three 3-pointers to go along with a handful of big free throws to finish with 17. Junior guard OT Omot was one of the most consistent scorers for Park of Cottage Grove with 20 points.

Though the Wolfpack had a lead as big as eight points in the game’s final two minutes, Jefferson forced the game to come down to the wire but could not finish off the late comeback attempt.

With the win, the Wolfpack head on the road on Thursday to face top-seeded Eastview. 

Daniel Freitag had a game-high 28 points as the Jaguar’s lost 72-68 to the Wolfpack at the Park of Cottage Grove high school. Photo by Earl J. Ebensteiner, SportsEngine

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