Viking hoops lose three

By Victoria Dahlin—

After coming off a long awaited win the week before, the North Branch boys basketball team lost all three games last week.

On Feb. 14 the team hosted St. Francis and after earning a one point lead at the half, fell in the end 67-39.

“Our guys played a very disciplined first half and executed our game plan very well,” said Coach David Anderson. “We knew in the second half we would have to come out and play even better in order to hold off a St. Francis charge. They pushed the tempo and forced us into a fast paced game, which is not what we wanted, and we could respond keep up in the second half. Cody Knobbe had a huge game for us off the bench and was really the reason we had the half-time lead. He played his best basketball of the season and set a great example for all of our other guys who come off the bench.”

The tough Totino-Grace team sent the Vikings home with a 76-65 loss last Friday.

“They threw a full court press at us for the first 8-10 minutes of the game and our guys executed our press break very well, getting 5-6 easy lay-ups against it early on,” said Coach Anderson. “Then after they pulled the press off, we had trouble getting things going in the half court and struggled to score very much throughout the second half. Their big guys are very large and we had trouble getting anything inside because of their size and length. Our guys fought hard though, and the game was really much tighter than the final score suggests.”

Last Saturday the team fell to Hibbing 70-42.

“Again, this is a game which the final score doesn’t indicate how hard our guys played and fought throughout,” said Coach Anderson. “We were neck and neck with Hibbing, tied 33-33 four minutes into the second half. Then everything seemed to go wrong. We made a lot of mistakes, had to many turnovers, lost our guys on defense and gave up easy shots. We talked after the game about how disappointing it is for us to have games where we are so close and then seem to implode in the second half. Our guys are playing hard, we are just still figuring out how to win at this level. Hibbing did a great job bottling up Travis, you could tell the game plan was to keep him from beating them. Cody Knobbe stepped in again and played well off the bench, it so vital for us to have our bench players step in and give big contributions. Jon Blomquist is another one who has been stepping up well recently and doing a good job giving us a much needed spark.”

The North Branch boys basketball team is 11th in the North Suburban Conference with a 0-13 conference and 3-20 overall record. The Vikings will travel to Fridley to face the Tigers (10-11 record) at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21 before traveling to Chisago Lakes Area High School in Lindstrom to face the Wildcats (4-18 record) at 7:15p.m. Friday. Feb. 24.

NB Boys Basketball (point totals)

vs. St. Francis

Cody Knobbe 18

Travis VanElsberg 8

Brandon Thauwald 6

Tom Kinsella 5

Tyler Knobbe 2

@ Totino-Grace

Travis VanElsberg 9

Tom Kinsella 9

Tyler Knobbe 7

Isaac Lewis 4

Brandon Thauwald 2

Aaron Biederman 2

Petar Kosovic 2

Colin Ehrnriter 1

@ Hibbing

Tom Kinsella 12

Cody Knobbe 8

Brandon Thauwald 8

Tyler Knobbe 5

Jon Blomquist 3

Travis VanElsberg 2

Riley Jacobson 2

Petar Kosovic 1

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