By Victoria Dahlin
After losing another close game at St. Francis, the North Branch girls basketball team fell to tough Totino-Grace at home last week.
The Vikings defeated the Fighting Saints the first time they faced earlier this season in triple overtime. This was another close exciting game with North Branch up 20-18 at the half.
St. Francis again hit the three pointers — this time hitting eight, while North Branch hit two. The Vikings were down by five with 11 seconds to go in the game when Emily Trunk hit a three-pointer to cut the lead to two with five seconds left. North Branch stole the inbound pass at half court, made a quick pass to the free throw line and got off a great shot. But the ball hit both sides of the rim and fell out at the buzzer leaving the Vikings with a 50-48 loss.
“Sarah Lekson had her best overall week of the season and is really starting to dominate in parts of the game,” said Coach Dan Schindler. “She got us going against St. Francis with 13 first half points. Teams are now starting to set their defenses up to stop Sarah and we just need our other girls to step it up on the offensive end when that happens. It was a great game. Annette Olson and Haley Huset had good overall floor games our whole team played hard. It was one of those games whoever had the ball last was probably going to win.”
Last Friday North Branch faced tough conference foe Totino-Grace with the Eagles taking an early 13-4 lead. The Vikings cut the lead to 36-32 in the second half, but just could not outscore the Eagles and in the end fell 50-41.
“I was really pleased with our defense the whole night,” said Coach Schindler. “I thought both teams started the game a little sloppy and the first 10 minutes both teams had more turnovers than points. We have to handle the basketball better. We made too many passes that were not open. Sarah Lekson had another huge game for us. I also thought Jessica Merchant and Courtney Selbitschka gave us some good minutes tonight. Totino made six three pointers while NB did not have one. That basically was the difference.”
The North Branch girls basketball team is seventh in the North Suburban Conference with a 5-9 conference and 14-10 overall record. The team will travel to Chisago Lakes Area High School to face the Wildcats (19-5 record) at 5:45 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24. The Vikings will then begin Section 7AAA Championship playoffs at the home of the high seed at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 27 with the winner of that game advancing to compete at the home of the high seed at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 29. Check Scoreboard Plus on the Post Review’s Website for bracket updates.
NB Girls Basketball
@ St. Francis
Sarah Lekson 17 pts, 10 rebounds
Kallie Grote 8 pts
Annette Olson 7 pts
Emily Trunk 5 pts
Erin Reber 6 pts
Haley Huset 3 pts, 9 rebounds, 4 steals
Jessica Merchant 2 pts
Sarah Lekson 21 pts, 11 rebounds
Jessica Merchant 7 pts
Emily Trunk 3 pts
Cassedy Coleman 3 pts
Courtney Selbitschka 3 pts
Haley Huset 2 pts
Kallie Grote 2 pts