January 16, 2004 at 12:46 p.m.
In the second half of last Friday’s boys basketball game, Herb Jangor finally saw what he had been waiting for. Balance, team play, smart decisions, defense; all together, all at once. The formula sparked the ‘Cats, outscoring Mora 38-17 in the second half, leading to a 68-47 win.
The first half was fast and furious, not exactly the game Jangor wanted to see. Mora opened things up, starting from the outside with two three-pointers in the first quarter. Chisago had no problem keeping pace offensively. Five different Wildcats scored points in the first, knotting the two teams up 14-14 after one.
The second quarter was more of the same, even a little faster if you can believe it. The Mustangs and Wildcats traded baskets the entire way. Whenever one team would jump in front, the other would charge back. Simply, the first half was filled with a lot of offense, tied 30-30 at the break.
“We played their game in the first,” said Jangor, Chisago Lakes head boys basketball coach. “It was run and gun, absolutely no defense. As a team, we win with our defense and that’s what we addressed at half. Mora can score, they always could, so our key was our defense in the second half. If we wanted to win, we had to play defense, otherwise it was going to be a 60-60 game.”
The Wildcats accepted the challenge. While offensively, things remained the same, on defense, Chisago Lakes tightened the bolts by turning up the pressure and controlling the boards. The results were evident immediately as the ‘Cats outscored Mora 20-12 in the third, grabbing a 50-42 lead heading into the fourth.
In the fourth quarter, with every second that passed on the clock, Chisago picked up more and more confidence and more and more steam, crushing the Mustangs down the stretch, finishing the game on a 18-5 run en route to a 68-47 win.
When the dust settled and the smoke cleared, the Wildcats had just played arguably their best half of basketball this season.
“We did a lot of things right in the second half,” remarked Jangor. “We got balanced scoring, we finished with five players scoring eight or more points. That’s the type of balance we have to have. Things are definitely starting to come around. Balanced scoring, team play, good defense, they are all things that come together when our system’s are run correctly.”
The Wildcats finished with three players in double figures, led by David Olson’s 18 points. However, Jangor points out that his teams performance runs much deeper than points. It was a total team effort.
“Devin Swanberg had his best game of the season. He scored 11 points, but he played great defense and he grabbed nine rebounds,” explained Jangor. “Todd Froberg had five assists. He was quiet in the first but he came back and played a great second half. Mike Golv had a nice night as well for us. Everyone contributed, we got everyone involved and that’s what we’re going to need to win games.”
With the win, Chisago Lakes moved to 2-2 in the conference and 4-6 overall. It was the first time this season where the ‘Cats have won back-to-back games.
“We’re making progress. It was the first game this season where we had a number of kids step up at the same time instead of just one or two. That’s important. We have to be able to continue that the rest of the way to be successful.”
Chisago Lakes 68
1 2 3 4 F
Mora 14 16 12 5 47
Chisago Lakes 14 16 20 18 68
Olson 18, Golv 11, Swanberg 11, Johnson 9, Froberg 8, Corradi 6, Kellum 3, Collins 1, Brelje 1.