12/22/2016 1:07:00 PM 'Cats put early struggles behind them, sweep northern opponents
North St. Paul 68, Chisago Lakes 66 The Wildcats came close to their first win of the season when they took on the Polars from North St. Paul early this month.
They fell just short, however, 68-66, with their last chance effort stymied by the Polars defense.
St. Cloud Tech 64, Chisago Lakes 30 They followed that up with an ugly offensive showing against St. Cloud Tech. The Tigers limited the Wildcats to only 30 points in the game, and only two Wildcats scored over three points. Thomas Gillach had 11 and Trevin Nelson had seven.
Despite the dogged defensive pace, St. Cloud Tech was still able to keep the pressure on offensively, scoring 64 points in the early season blowout.
Chisago Lakes 77, Hibbing 46 The ‘Cats got their season back on track with a chemistry-building overnight trip up north. They left early enough Friday, December 16 to beat the snow that blanketed the metro area, and escaped to Hibbing, where the snowfall was scant.
The getaway was just what they needed. The Wildcats topped the Bluejackets by 31 points and had a great effort overall. Hibbing had only lost one game so far this season, so the win was even more impressive.
Chisago Lakes 71, Duluth Denfeld 59 The Wildcats kept the Hunters winless on the year with a 71-59 victory in the second half of their northern doubleheader on Saturday afternoon.
The matinee game a better gauge for Chisago Lakes since Denfeld is a section foe.
“I knew that we opened up with a very tough schedule to start the season. Two of the four games, we just did not match up against our opponent,” New head coach Todd Dufault said. “The other two games we competed very well and had a chance to win but came up short. "
With all of the changes to the program this season, however, Dufault expected there to be some growing pains.
“We came into the season inexperienced. It's a new team, new year, new players, new coach and new system. We have to be patient because it takes time. The guys are working extremely hard and we are making great strides,” Dufault said. “Our number one goal is to get better everyday. We believe we are a better team than we were two weeks ago. That is the only thing we focus on. The tough competition does two things for you. It exposes your weaknesses and it forces you to step up your play. Great preparation for a tough conference and section play. It's a long season so we have to embrace the day-to-day battles that it takes to get better. I love our team. Very coachable kids. We have work to do but I am enjoying the building process.”
The ‘Cats faced off against White Beat Lake earlier this week before taking off for Christmas. They’ll come back to the Tartan Tournament beginning Tuesday, December 27 agains host Tartan.