By Victoria Dahlin —
The North Branch boys basketball team hosted and lost to Spring Lake Park in its last game of the regular season.
The Panthers started the game with an 11 point lead, until the Vikings fought back and pulled within four points with about four minutes left in the first half. But the visitors closed out the break convincingly, as it was a 10 to 20 point difference game most of the way until the final couple minutes.
The Vikings ended up losing 89-55.
“Our guys gave a great effort on senior night,” said Coach David Anderson. “Our two seniors, Tom Kinsella and Tyler Knobbe, both played their tails off and made sure that we fought hard the entire game. The effort and energy our guys played with was great and if we had played like this every night all year we would have quite a few more notches in the win column.
“We had great efforts from quite a few of our guys, but tonight was about our seniors. I couldn’t be prouder of the way Tyler and Tom played tonight, and all season for that matter. Going into the season we knew that we would be fighting a tough battle against nearly every team we played. Our two seniors brought passion, hard work and a positive attitude to practice every single day and were great examples for our younger guys to look up to,” Anderson explained.
The North Branch boys basketball team ended the regular season 11th in the North Suburban Conference with a 0-16 conference and 3-23 overall record.
The #9 section seed Vikings will travel to Chisago Lakes Area High School in Lindstrom to face the #8 seed Wildcats in the first round of Section 7AAA Championship playoffs at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 7. The winner will travel to face the #1 seed Grand Rapids Thunderhawks in the section quarterfinals at 7 p.m. Friday, March 9.
The section semifinal will be played at the home of the high seed at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 13, with the Section 7AAA Championship to be held at Cambridge-Isanti High School at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 15.
NB boys basketball
vs. Spring Lake Park
Tom Kinsella 16
Travis VanElsberg 13
Brandon Thauwald 8
Tyler Knobbe 6
Isaac Lewis 4
Cody Knobbe 4
Petar Kosovic 4
Jon Blomquist 2