|1/9/2020 3:00:00 PM|
Third loss in a row cause for concern for North Branch girls basketball
North Branch girls basketball started the year 7-0, surpassing last year’s win total easily, and even climbing into the top 15 rankings in the state in Class AAA. Everything was coming up aces for the Lady Vikings.
But, they’ve now dropped three games in a row, and while they could be forgiven for struggling against a talented Orono team at a holiday tournament, the Vikings latest loss against section foe Grand Rapids is cause for concern.
The concern doesn’t neccesarily stem from the fact that they lost, as Grand Rapids is 7-6 on the year and has some talent on their roster, but the Thunderhawks dominated North Branch, leading by double digits by halftime and eventually winning by 16 points in what wasn’t a particularly close game.
Taryn Hamling, who’s sister Heaven has been a thorn in North Branch and Chisago Lakes’ sides for year, led GR with 19 points and was the only Hawk in double digits.
For North Branch, Paige Peaslee led the Vikings with 13 points and 12 boards and Megan Bunes had 11 points and six rebounds. Kate Carlson grabbed 11 boards, dished out three assists and swiped four steals, but she only had four points after being a key offensive cog early in the season. Maddie Helin made some shots for NB, scoring eight points and grabbing four rebounds.
“Grand Rapids outplayed us in most areas of the game,” Head Coach Alison Trampe said. “We had trouble getting into any flow. It is a game we are going to learn from and we will work to get back on track this week. We are a much better team than we showed Friday night and we hope to have another chance to play them later this season in sections.”
After going 1-1 in some early season Mississippi 8 Conference action, the Vikings are going to get into the bulk of their M8C schedule now that the holiday break is wrapped up. They took on Princeton earlier this week and then host St. Francis and Duluth Denfeld on back-to-back days before taking on conference newcomer and Class AAA powerhouse Becker on Friday, January 17.