The Northland Pines boys basketball team won three games last week, including a 75-71 victory over Rhine­lander to give the Eagles their first Great Northern Conference (GNC) win of the season.

The Eagles also beat Crandon 67-41 and Peshtigo 76-74 in a pair of nonconference games to improve to 4-0 overall. 

In the four-point win at Rhinelander last Thursday, the Eagles trailed 36-38 at the half but outscored the Hodags 39-33 in the second half.

“This was a battle. Rhine­lander played extremely well and this isn’t an easy place to get a win,” said Pines coach Terry Klemett. “We were down 10 three different times and we kept our resolve and made plays. We made shots when we needed them and it was nice to see us finally shoot the ball well.”

Joe Misina led Pines with 16 points, nine rebounds and four assists. Ryan Peterson also had 16 points, 11 rebounds and six assists. Nolan Lurvey had 15 points, four rebounds and six assists and Ryan Muench had 14 points and six rebounds. 

“To have four guys in double figures is something we try to get every game. Nolan Lurvey is getting better and better. And he is just a gamer,” said Klemett. “I felt our deep bench and rotations are continually getting better and we are just wearing teams down. It was great for us to get our first conference win and to get it in an environment like that in Rhine­lander. It was just a heck of game all around and we were just happy to walk out on top.” 

Against Crandon last Monday, Pines only shot 14% in the first half, but still led 25-23 at the intermission.

“Our defense and energy kept us in a lead,” said Klemett.

Pines outscored Crandon 42-18 in the second half to win going away.

“I was pleased with our energy and we just wore them out early in the second half,” said Klemett. “The guys know when we are shooting well, but if we are not, our defense will keep us in games.”

Misina led Pines with 16 points and four rebounds. Trey Lindeman contributed 15 points and 10 rebounds and Peterson had 12 points and 12 rebounds. 

“Trey Lindeman was awesome and made big plays throughout the game. It was his best game by far,” said Klemett. “Joe Misina had foul trouble again in the first half, but our bench was steady and we gained momentum going to those guys.” 

Pines had another close game against Peshtigo Saturday with the Eagles coming out on top 76-74.

“This game could have gone either way. It’s hard to play back to back, but that is what our schedule consisted of,” said Klemett. “Peshtigo is very well coached and they really do a good job of controlling the game offensively.”

Both teams scored at a blistering rate in the first half, as Pines led 41-39. 

“In the second half, our defense and substitutions were wearing them down,” said Klemett. “Coach Burke has done an amazing job of subbing and keeping fresh legs and the right combinations on the floor.” 

Peterson led Pines with 22 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. Misina had 19 points and five rebounds. Muench had 12 points and six rebounds and Sam Gremban contributed 12 points and five rebounds.

“Our bench of Landon Offerdahl, Nolan Lurvey, Sam Gremban and Mike Klemett continues to get better and we don’t lose momentum going to them,” said coach Klemett. “Ryan Peterson and Joe Misina had fantastic games again.

“Sam Gremban had an amazing game again with 12 points. He just seems to be in the right spot at the right time all the time. And Im happy for him and how hard he is playing,” said the coach. 

“Ryan Muench has been playing like a junior or senior and I can’t say enough about him. He’s just one of those kids that has the total package. When he is on the court with Nolan Lurvey, they have such a good chemistry and do so many things together. To get this win was big for us, especially after playing the Hodags the night before.”

Pines improved to 4-0 overall and 1-0 in the GNC. The Eagles were scheduled to host Ashland on Tuesday of this week in a nonconference game and will play at Hayward this Saturday, Dec. 14, at 3 p.m. in another nonconference game. Next Tuesday, Dec. 17, Pines will host Mosinee in a GNC game starting at 7:15 p.m. in the final game before the holidays.

“We are happy to be 4-0. But we know we are a long, long way from being where we want to be. Our team is a family and everyone is playing for each other and to see that early in the season makes me proud of them and their effort and never-say- die attitude,” said Klemett. “This is a special group and our leaders Joe and Ryan have played and are leading the way they should, and it shows.”