December 27, 2006 at 8:22 p.m.
A Tyler Bouwens freethrow gave the Wildcats a lead in the first minute. The TG Eagles hit a three and a two before Josh Figini got the first CL field goal on a nice feed from Bouwens at the 15:50 mark. Figini followed that hoop with another basket three minutes later to tie the score at five.
On its next trip down the floor, a Figini block denied an Eagle shot from the block to preserve the tie. However, in the next minute, Totino scored a quick eight while keeping the Wildcats off the board. With 9:30 to go in the half, the Eagles seemed to have the momentum, to go along with their 13-5 lead.
It was then that the combination of offense and defense ignited the 16-0 Wildcat run. Taylor Jones started the onslaught with a three with 9:10 on the clock. Successive Zach Sill assists netted the ‘Cats four quick points. The senior swingman hit Figini for two and, the next possession, found Bouwens all alone under the basket.
“It was a good defensive effort for us. We played to our strengths,” said Wildcat head coach Herb Jangor. “Sill and Golv did a great job on their scorer. He scored three early baskets and then they shut him down for the rest of the game.”
Bouwens returned the favor a minute later and, at 6:59, CL had regained the lead 14-13. Sill scored again, on a fast break fueled by a Wildcat steal. Figini scored on a pull-up jumper and Scott Leigh followed with a drive and a freethrow. That flurry gave the ‘Cats a 21-13 lead with four minutes left.
“Our players did a nice job of taking advantage once their big kid got in foul trouble. They did a good job of getting the ball to Figini,” said Jangor.
The teams traded baskets for the rest of the half. Senior center Taylor Lindeman scored on a tip-in with 3:10 on the clock and Sill converted a putback three minutes later to make the halftime score 25-18.
In the second half, the Wildcat defense continued to control the game as it limited the Eagles to 16 points. “Our depth helped us wear them down. Our defense has made the last two wins look easier than they were. We played well against Totino, but we played even better at St. Francis. Since the first game, our seniors have really set the tone,” Jangor added.
Chisago Lakes 25 27 52
Totino-Grace 18 16 34
Chisago Lakes Scoring
Tyler Bouwens 10
Scott Leigh 3
Brian Jennissen 2
Taylor Jones 5
Zach Sill 8
Josh Figini 19
Joe Knafla 3
Taylor Lindeman 2
Chisago Lakes at Irondale
“ It was one of those games where you hated to see either team lose,” said Chisago Lakes head boys’ basketball coach Herb Jangor. He was talking about his Wildcats’ 74-72 overtime loss at Irondale Friday, December 22.
The Wildcats rode the hot hand of Kyle Hogie in the first half. The Junior guard drained three long threes before intermission to lead the Wildcats to a 38-29 halftime advantage.
“The kids played a heck of a game. Hogie was really good in the first half and (Chris) Golv was great in the second. (Zach) Sill was good in both halves. He was a monster on the boards (13 rebounds) and scored (13 points) throughout the game. He even played some point for us when we needed him,” the coach said.
Irondale came back from the halftime deficit to make it a close contest for most of the second period. The ‘Cats had a chance to put some space between themselves and the Knights in the last minutes of the game.
“We stopped them three straight times at 64-63, but we didn’t make our one-and-ones. They did,” Jangor said. “They were up three with less than a minute to go. While I was trying to decide whether to to take a timeout, Golv tied it with a three.”
The Knights got control of the ball in their backcourt with only a few seconds left. Two of their players broke free, well ahead of any Wildcats and it looked like they’d win it on an uncontested layup. But, somebody tipped the outlet pass and Tyler Bouwens got back far enough to intercept it, keeping the score 65-65 and forcing the overtime.
“ In OT, we couldn’t keep ‘em off the offensive boards. They scored two freethrows to go up by two with 2.6 seconds to go. Jennissen (Brian) took the ball out-of-bounds and threw a perfect strike to Sill. He got off a last-second shot, but it didn’t go,” Jangor lamented.
Irondale 27 38 9 74
Chisago Lakes 36 29 7 72
Chisago Lakes Scoring
Kyle Hogie 9
Chris Golv 7
Scott Leigh 3
Brian Jennissen 5
Taylor Jones 11
Zach Sill 13
Josh Figini 19
Joe Knafla 5
The Wildcats connected on 11 two-pointers, eight shots from beyond the arc and 11 freethrows. “We had a nice offensive night. I expected a tough game, but I didn’t expect that many points. We didn’t play bad defense, it was just the pace of the game,” Jangor added. “If you’re a high school basketball fan, you probably loved it.
“It’s gonna be like last year. There’ll be a lot of close games. It’ll be an exciting run in the NSC. People will get their money’s worth,” Jangor concluded.
The Wildcats host the Chisago Lakes Holiday Tournament December 28-29. Thursday, Osceola and Holy Family will open the tournament at 6 p.m. and the Wildcats will take on Minnehaha Academy at 7:45. The third place game will tip off at 6 p.m. Friday and the championship tilt will start at 7:45.