January 29, 2004 at 1:57 p.m.
St. Michael-Alb. 47
Three weeks ago, Chisago Lakes head boys basketball coach Herb Jangor sat back in his chair, staring at his next four games on the schedule, and made a bold prediction.
“I think if we play the way we can, we can be 6-6 when this stretch of games is over with.”
Intrigued, a very astute reporter (myself), glanced at the schedule and added to it.
“I think you guys can be 7-7.”
It was a long shot at the time but certainly not out of the question. The Wildcats had just limped out of the Centennial Holiday Tournament with two losses, extending their losing streak to three games and dropping their season record to 2-6.
That meant that the ‘Cats had to win five of their next six games to make the prediction fact. Last week, after defeating Zimmerman on the road, that’s exactly what it was, fact. Paired with a win over St. Michael-Albertville earlier in the week, the Wildcats were 7-7.
Last Tuesday, Chisago took another huge step towards reaching that .500 mark, defeating St. Michael-Albertville at home, 50-47.
The game started off slow and sloppy for both teams. St. Michael, known for starting out fast, was slowed to just nine points in the first quarter, giving them a 9-7 lead after one.
In the second, the Wildcats fought back, jumping in front by one, 19-18 at the break. Senior Todd Froberg and Junior David Olson led the way, each scoring for points in the quarter. Devin Swanberg and Trevor Johnson added two.
It was the Froberg, Olson, and Johnson show again in the third. With six points under his belt in the first half, Olson heated up for six more as Chisago tried to stay in front.
However, the Knights would not go away, fighting back to tie the game 33-33 after three. It was going to go down to the wire.
Everyone will agree, one significant change from game one to now for the Wildcats has been their confidence. Earlier in the season, the ‘Cats would have found a way to lose the game down the stretch (A.K.A Mahtomedi and Milaca). But recently, a transformation has occurred. Now, losing is the furthest thing from their mind.
Led by Olson, Chisago Lakes stepped up their game late, jumping in front to start the fourth. After scoring 12 points through the first three quarters, Olson scored 13 alone in the fourth, accounting for 13 of the ‘Cats 17 points in the fourth. To cover the inside, Johnson accounted for the other four, including two humongous baskets down the stretch.
“The guys played tough, they answered the call,” mentioned Jangor. “It was a game of runs and down the stretch, we did a nice job of executing. That’s what we’ve been waiting for.”
Every time St. Michael closed the gap, the Wildcats had an answer. 48-44 with 46 seconds left, 50-46 with 38 seconds left....whenever they needed a play, they got it, eventually breaking the Knights backs (and spirit), securing a 50-47 win.
“It was a good team win. The kids did the little things. They did the things they need to do if they want to beat good teams like that,” mentioned Jangor. “We just made the plays when we had to, we had several guys step up. Trevor Johnson had a nice game for us inside, he played well, and Todd Froberg played well for us also. It’s the type of basketball we’ve known we could play all along, we’ve just been waiting for it to come.”
It’s come just in time. The win not only brought the Wildcats overall mark to 6-7, but it put them at 4-3 in the conference with Zimmerman on the way.
Chisago Lakes 50
St. Michael-Alb. 47
1 2 3 4 F
STMA 9 9 15 14 47
Chisago Lakes 7 12 14 17 50
Olson 25, Johnson 11, Froberg 10, Corradi 2, Swanberg 2.
Chisago Lakes 75
Other than the score, there wasn’t much more to say when summing up the Wildcats 75-39 win over Zimmerman last Friday, it wasn’t exactly close....ever.
Determined not to give the Thunder any confidence what-so-ever, the Wildcats roared out of the gates with 27 points, putting them in front 27-5 after one quarter. In all, seven Wildcats scored points, and two scored more points than the entire Zimmerman team in the first (Olson 6, Secord 8).
Leading by 22 points, Chisago increased their lead to 27 points at the break, 41-14. For Jangor, it gave him a rare opportunity to empty his bench in the first half as 11 ‘Cats entered the game. All 12 Wildcats registered minutes in the first half of play.
“The guys did what they had to,” said Jangor. “They went out and took care of business. A lot of players got to see the court and a lot of players contributed.”
The substitutions continued in the second half and so did the Wildcats momentum. Chisago Lakes added 23 more points on the scoreboard in the third quarter, extending their lead to 45, 64-19. The ‘Cats won the game 75-39.
“We played good team basketball,” replied Jangor. “Everybody played almost four quarters so it was good to see some guys get some minutes.”
David Olson led the ‘Cats in scoring with another 20 point game, his fourth consecutive game with 20 plus points. Playing without Trevor Johnson, Levi Secord controlled the inside with 13 points. For the game, the Wildcats played all 12 players, all 12 scored.
More importantly, the win stretched the Wildcats winning streak to three games, pulling their record to 7-7 overall and 5-3 in conference.
Next up, after a game at Big Lake, the ‘Cats start round two of their conference schedule with Foley on Friday.
Chisago Lakes 75
1 2 3 4 F
Chisago Lakes 27 14 23 11 75
Zimmerman 5 9 5 20 39
Olson 20, Secord 13, Corradi 12, Lallier 8, Froberg 5, Golv 3, Brelje 3, Kellum 3, Olness 2, Swanberg 2, Maher 2, Collins 2.