December 26, 2003 at 10:32 a.m.
When you’re a shooting team like North Branch, sometimes you start to shoot too much, mainly from the outside. Recently, that’s been concern number one for Bill Baumann, so last week, the Vikings went back to the basics, destroying Mora with the type of balance they have been looking for all season. It was a game where North Branch did everything right by dominating the field, the boards, and the tempo, en route to a 80-51 win last Tuesday.
The game-plan was in effect from the very beginning. After a Jake Anderson three-pointer to open up the scoring, North Branch scored their next eight inside the arc, led by senior Bowie McClaskie who scored seven points in the first quarter alone, helping the Viking to an early 21-10 lead after one.
“We started extremely well jumping out to an early lead and building it from there,” remarked Bill Baumann, North Branch boys basketball head coach. “We were trying to shoot too much from the outside and we needed to get back to the basics of attacking the basket. When we attack the rim it opens up our outside game.”
To start the second, the Vikings built their lead to 13 before Mora rattled off the next five points. However, that stretch woke up the sleeping giant as the Vikings responded with a run of their own, outscoring the Mustangs 27-10 the rest of the way, giving them a 52-27 lead at the half. North Branch finished the second quarter with 31 points.
“We closed out the first half on another aggressive run and extended our lead from 13 points to 23 points,” said Baumann.
That lead grew in the third quarter as the Vikings came out of the locker room with an 11-2, pushing their lead to 34 points, the largest lead of the game. Baumann cleared his bench the rest of the way, playing all 16 players on his roster, 11 scored in the 80-51 win.
Matt Fletcher quietly led the way with 20 points followed by McClaskie, whose offensive breakout was anything but quiet.
“Bowie McClaskie really got out and made big strides in his game,” commented Baumann. “He had 17 first half points and was really aggressive taking the ball to the basket.
Jake Anderson added 14 points and Beaver scored 11 as the Vikings moved to 2-0 in conference and 4-1 overall.
North Branch 80
1 2 3 4 F
Mora 10 17 13 11 51
North Branch 21 31 20 8 80
Fletcher 20, McClaskie 17, Anderson 14, Beaver 11, Nelson 5, D. Stahley 3, Moriarty 3, Baumann 3, Stenberg 2, Perrin 1, Moore 1.