Hard work pays off as Vikes chop down Lumberjacks

Travis VanElsberg led the team in scoring 21 points at home against Cloquet. Photo by Victoria Dahlin

By Victoria Dahlin—

After two losses earlier in the week, the 13 game losing streak ended for the North Branch boys basketball team with a victory over Cloquet last Saturday.

The Vikings came out fighting, taking control right from the start and went into the locker room at the half up 31-24. In the second session, the team continued to outscore the Lumberjacks to get the 66-57 win in front of the home crowd.

“We knew coming into this game that Lane was a great player and most of their offense revolved around getting the ball inside to him,” said Coach David Anderson. “Our bigs did an incredible job keeping the ball out of his hands and only allowed him to get nine shots. Brandon Thauwald, Isaac Lewis and Petar Kosovic all played great interior defense and really were the key for us in this win. Our guards also played, and shot, exceptionally well.

“Travis VanElsberg, Tyler Knobbe and Tom Kinsella all played extremely disciplined and really forced Cloquet into our style of play. Those three also shot extremely well from behind the arc as we ended up shooting 11 for 21 from three point range. We didn’t go as deep into our bench as we have in the past but the minutes we got were huge for us. Jon Blomquist and Cody Knobbe both played big for us and did a great job coming off the bench and giving our starters a break when they needed it.

“It was great for our guys to get a big win and see all the hard work pay off. I can’t express how proud I am of the effort and determination they have shown through this long, tough stretch we have had since Christmas. They played great and deserved to win tonight,” Anderson explained.

On Feb. 6, the team traveled and lost 91-39 to Robbinsdale Cooper and then traveled and lost 63-34 to the Irondale Knights last Friday.

The North Branch boys basketball team is 11th in the North Suburban Conference with a 0-11 conference and 3-17 overall record. The team will travel to Totino-Grace High School in Fridley to face the Eagles (12-9) at 7:15 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17 before traveling to Hibbing to face the Bluejackets (12-8) at 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18. The Vikings will then travel to Fridley to face the Tigers (9-10) at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21.

NB boys basketball (point totals)

@ Robbinsdale Cooper

Travis VanElsberg 7

Dillion Harms 2

Brandon Thauwald 11

Tom Kinsella 10

Tyler Knobbe 7

Riley Jacobson 2

@ Irondale

Travis VanElsberg 5

Colin Ehrnriter 2

Brandon Thauwald 8

Tom Kinsella 5

Tyler Knobbe 8

Aaron Biederman 6

vs. Cloquet

Travis VanElsberg 21

Isaac Lewis 6

Brandon Thauwald 7

Tom Kinsella 17

Tyler Knobbe 15

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