The boys basketball team has had a successful start to our season, starting out 3-1. This week we were able to defeat Mora and Duluth Denfeld before dropping one to Grand Rapids on Saturday. We started the season 3-0 for the first time since the state team in 2000-2001. Below is a wrap up of the three games from this week.
Home vs Mora December 10th–Win 77-66
It was our first game in the Middle School as we wait for our high school gym to get fixed. The atmosphere was really fun, and of course it is always nice to come away with a win. I give Mora a ton of credit, there were times that it felt like we would end up running away with it but they always hung around and kept it interesting until the very end. As a team we have to do a better job on the glass (-15) but we were able to force 27 turnovers (resulting in 35 points) and make 13 threes.
Carson Klein (FR) had 11 points, 3 assists, 3 deflections, and 4 steals. Carter Whitman (SR) had 16 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 deflections, and 4 steals. Drew VanEerden (SR) had 14 points and 8 rebounds. Logan Murphy (SO) added 12 points and 8 rebounds.
Home vs Duluth Denfeld December 12th–Win 82-66
We haven’t beaten Denfeld for a LONG time so it was great to be able to get the win at home. Another game that it felt like at times we would be able to extend the lead but Denfeld kept it tight for most of the night. Our pressing defense was the biggest difference in the game resulting in 31 forced turnovers and 28 points off of those turnovers. We were also able to get up 80 field goal attempts compared to their 58. For the first time this year we were able to outrebound our opponent (+8).
Carter Whitman had 12 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists. Drew VanEerden had his best game of the year with 26 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 8 deflections, and 6 steals. Anthony Riley (JR) contributed 13 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 steals.
Away vs Grand Rapids–December 14th—Loss 43-93
Hopefully you have stopped reading by this point, but if not I will recap the Grand Rapids loss. The score obviously stings and it was really a story of two halves. Late in the first half we were able to make a three to cut the score to 26-33 and I felt like if we could get into the half we would be in good shape. We weren’t shooting it great to that point and I felt like we needed a chance to catch our breath and regroup. Unfortunately, there were a couple minutes left in the half and they ended the half on an 11-2 run, going into the half 28-44. We were never able to end that run. After being really competitive for the first 15 minutes of the game, they ended the game 60-17. Minnesota-Duluth commit John Sutherland of Grand Rapids was a handful for us, ending the day with 35 points and 16 rebounds.
The things that carried us up to this point weren’t very good against Grand Rapids (they deserve a ton of credit for that). Our previous low on made threes was 11, against GR we made 4 (4-28). Our previous low for turnovers forced was 23 and we were only able to force 13. Previous low for points off of turnovers was 20, against GR we had 5. It was also the first game that our opponent had more field goal attempts than us.
As I told our players, 3-1 is a great start, so don’t let the differential throw us off. It was a bad performance, but it doesn’t erase the previous 3 games. We will get back to work on Monday and improve and we look forward to playing Pine City on Tuesday.
Carter Whitman led us in scoring with 10 points.
As a side note, our JV team continues to play extremely well. They went 3-0 this week, bringing their record up to 4-0.