February 6, 2004 at 12:18 p.m.
Chisago Lakes 74
If you like offense, last Tuesday’s game was for you. On the road, the Chisago Lakes boys basketball team shot 51 percent from the floor, canned six three-pointers, and scored 74 points- and lost!
Unfortunately, Big Lake was even better, coming back from a 10 point deficit to defeat the ‘Cats 78-74, dropping the Wildcats season record below the .500 mark at 7-8 overall.
Led by junior David Olson, Chisago roared off the bus, scoring 21 points in the first quarter. Olson, who has been averaging 25 points per game since the first of January, hit for 11 points in the first, helping to give the Wildcats a 21-14 lead after one. For Big Lake, all 14 points came from two players, Joe Smock and Mike Fischer. Both would greatly affect the outcome of the game.
Leading by seven, Chisago increased their lead to 10 in the second. Again, Olson paced the ‘Cats offensive attack with eight more points. Filling the inside for the Wildcats was junior Levi Secord who also struck for eight in the second, giving Chisago a 45-35 lead at the half. The advantage would have been more if not for Smock and Fischer. The two combined for 19 of the Hornets 21 second quarter points, keeping Big Lake close.
“We couldn’t stop them. We tried to slow them down but we just couldn’t keep them out of the lane and off the boards,” mentioned Herb Jangor, Chisago Lakes boys basketball head coach. “They got some offensive rebounds during some crucial parts in the game. It was just one of those games where it was a good offensive night for basketball. We executed pretty well. We did a lot of positive things but there were still too many negatives.”
In the third, those negatives stalled the Wildcats, opening the door for Big Lake. First of all, Smock and Fischer continued to do their thing, striking for 12 more points in the third. Throw in a bad stretch on offense and an injury to Secord and you can begin to understand how a 10 point lead turned into a two point deficit, 57-55 after three. Everything had changed.
“We didn’t execute well in the third. Both teams did well on offense the whole game and played poor defense. They just starting hitting the boards hard, picking up second chance points,” said Jangor. “Then Levi gets a cut above his eye and we had to take him out for five to six minutes. When he left, I think we had a six point lead. That’s an eight point swing.”
Already with a combined 112 points on the scoreboard through three quarters, believe it not, the game actually got even hotter in the fourth as both teams traded blows. Chisago’s offensive attack returned, hitting three three-pointers, helping them to pull in front. However, Big Lake came right back. The Hornets continued to dominate the boards down the stretch, especially the offensive boards, finishing with 16 in the game. As a direct result, the Smock and Fischer combo made their greatest impact in the fourth for Big Lake, scoring 15 of the team’s 21 points. Seven of those points came from the free throw, an area where the Hornets were able to seal the 78-74 win, hitting 18-24 from the charity stripe in the game. Meanwhile, the Wildcats only connected on 10 of their 20 free throws. For the game, Fisher finished with 30 and Smock added 27, accounting for 57 of the teams 78 points. Olson led the Wildcats with 28 points.
“It really came down to free throws in the fourth quarter and they hit 18 of 24 while we only made 10 of 20,” replied Jangor. “We left 10 points sitting on the line and they left only six. You give us those four points and it’s a tie game.”
When it was all said and done, Chisago Lakes was outscored 21-19 in the fourth quarter, but went just 3-10 from the free throw line. Big Lake was 10 of 15.
“Even with the free throws, it was one of those games where you feel like you got beat. We didn’t lose it ourselves, we didn’t throw it away like we have in the past,” said Jangor. “They were just better than us that night, but they were only better than us by four points. We had some good performances. David (Olson) had his usual game. Todd (Froberg) and Levi (Secord) had nice games along with Trevor (Johnson) and Tony (Corradi). But for all of the positives, we had too many negatives. We played well but we still need to be better.”
In order to stay in the Rum River race, they definitely need to be better. This week, Princeton and conference leader North Branch are on the schedule, and next week, it’s Milaca and Mora, both on the road.
Big Lake 78
Chisago Lakes 74
1 2 3 4 F
Chisago Lakes 21 24 10 19 74
Big Lake 14 21 22 21 78
Olson 28, Secord 13, Froberg 12, Johnson 8, Corradi 6, Swanberg 5, Golv 2.
Note: Last Friday’s game (1-30) was postponed. No word yet on a make-up date.