We had another week where we only had one game, losing to one of the favorites in the section-Hibbing 76-48. I will wrap that game up below, but first some other things.
Our main gym floor is completed and it has been nice being able to get back on that court. We haven’t been able to have a practice or workout in that gym since the end of last season. Between repainting the floors, construction, and fixing the water damage it has been a long 3-4 years. Now that it is completed, I truly believe we have as good of facilities as any 3AAA school. The weight room is everything that we could hope for, our game gym is as good as any that we play in, and having the new courts will be great for our 9th grade teams as well as giving more options for our youth programs. It was a long process, but it will all be worth it now that it is done. Thanks to the custodians who worked like crazy to get it ready for us last week.
Viking Skills Academy (VSA) second session begins Monday, January 6th from 7-8:00pm in the main gym. This is our youth program, available to all K-8th grade boys in our school district. Please register directly through Community Ed.
OK, now on to the game. We knew Hibbing would be a great challenge for us–I feel like they will be competing at the top of our section for the one seed. They are well coached, have 3-4 great shooters, and one of the best young playmakers in the state. We just didn’t come out with the edge and energy that you need to compete against a team like that.
We were hanging around early with the score 17-27, then Hibbing went on a 19-0 run before we hit a 3 to end the first half (20-46 at half). We played much better and more competitively in the second half but of course the game had completely changed at that point. As a coach I have to figure out how to get us to come out more mentally focused, physically ready, and emotionally dialed in. Right now, we aren’t scoring well enough to dig out of a hole like that–we have to be much better at the beginning of games.
Despite the margin, there are always positives to take out of every game. Our #1 key of the game was to control their Sophomore PG Ayden McDonald and Carter Whitman did a great job holding him to 4 points (he did finish with 13 assists, credit to him for impacting the game in other ways). We also rebounded the ball better than we have most of the year…especially our bigs (Anthony had 9 in his first game back and Trevor had 6).
Trevor Johnson ended up having 14 points and 6 rebounds, Drew VanEerden had 8 points and 3 rebounds, Carter Whitman had 8 and 4 reb, and Carson Klein had 7 points, 3 rebounds, 3 deflections, and 2 steals in his first start.
Our conference schedule begins next week with a matchup with one of the other section/conference favorites, Princeton, coming to us on Tuesday and then we head to St. Francis on Friday.