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March 20, 2019

1/31/2019 3:54:00 PM

St. Michael-Albertville 87, North Branch 67
North Branch had one of their toughest tests of the year when they took on St. Michael-Albertville last week.

The Knights wasted no time jumping in front of NB, hanging up 53 points in the first half en route to a 53-31 lead. The Vikings played STMA pretty even after that, but the Knights did parade in numerous subs as the game wore on and North Branch didn’t make any moves on the scoreboard.

“We just need to do a better job to end runs earlier so we don’t get ourselves so far behind the eight ball,” Head Coach Alex Kuhlman said.

STMA had two very strong and skilled bigs that gave North Branch heaps of issues throughout the game. “We struggled in the paint, getting outscored 46-24 in the paint, 18-6 on second chance points, and getting outrebounded 44-22. Also, for the second game in a row, we were stung by outside shooting with the Knights going 9-of-16 from beyond the arc,” Kuhlman said. “On the bright side, we did a very good job taking care of the ball against their man-to-man defense, only committing 12 turnovers for the game.”

North Branch also shot 10-of-23 on three pointers and were 11-of-14 on free throws.

Zach Gazda ended up scoring 26 points for North Branch, adding six rebounds, four assists and three blocks. “It’s been great have Zach back,” Kuhlman said.

Colby Knutson scored 16 points and Conner Hartmann added 12 points and six rebounds.

“Despite going 1-2 over the last three games, I think this is the best we have played all year. We are healthy  and our chemistry is improving,” Kuhlman noted. “Next week is a critical week for us with games against Rogers and Monticello. Both lost a number of players off of last years teams but are both playing extremely well of late.”

Chisago Lakes 78, Cloquet 69
A tight first half gave way to a big second half for the Chisago Lakes offense, and they earned a big section victory over the Cloquet Lumberjacks on Tuesday, January 22.

The teams were knotted at halftime 33-33, but an offensive explosion from Will Tinjum, Seth Thompson and Andrew Koehler put some separation between the ‘Cats and ‘Jacks, leading to the 78-69 win for CL.

Tinjum had 26 points, Thompson added 18 and Koehler chipped in 14. Beau Backes netted eight points in a nice supporting role.

Princeton 113, Chisago Lakes 77
An ornery Tiger team came into their match up with Chisago Lakes with a mission: to play better than they had all year, and that was a tall task since they were 12-1 on the year already.

But, that one loss occurred a week prior, and they had a seven day break in between games to work on their skills before taking on CL.

Princeton, who was ranked second in the state prior to their loss, came out firing, scoring a ridiculous 63 points in the first half. Their up-and-down style provided for some entertaining basketball as Chisago Lakes scored 45 points of their own.

But, Princeton kept their foot on the gas in the second half and scored another 50 points, ringing up 113 points on the ‘Cats.

Koehler had 18 points for CL, Tinjum had 17 and Backes added 14.

Princeton had six players in double figures, headlined by Adam Williams’ 27 points.

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