March 9, 2006 at 7:48 a.m.
When the Wildcats hosted the Vikings January 13, Chisago Lakes led 31-14 midway through the second period. A furious rally by the Vikings over the last eight minutes came one shot short as the Wildcats made enough freethrows down the stretch to hang on for a hard-fought 39-38 win.
Tuesday, February 28 North Branch hosted the Wildcats. The Vikings led by nine (48-39) with 5:35 left and seemed to have things in hand. But, Chisago Lakes fought back and rallied to leave the outcome in doubt until the final horn. The Vikings made enough freethrows down the stretch to hang on for a 56-54 victory.
Brian Jennissen gave the ‘Cats the first lead of the game when he hit a 17 footer a minute into the game. Jake Chambers took a pass from John Lindstrom less than a minute later and buried a three (his first of four on the night) to give the Vikings a 3-2 advantage. Seconds later, Wildcat center Trevor Johnson put a short one in to give his team a 4--3 lead.
Johnson scored again, at 14:48, on a putback to start a Wildcat mini-run that gave them a 11-5 lead (their largest of the game) with 13:34 on the clock. The next two minutes saw the Vikings outscore Chisago 8-0 on threes by Lindstrom and Chambers and a Bryce Hunter two.
After a Zach Sill basket, which tied the score at 13, Nick Perrin hit a jumper and two freethrows. Trailing 17-13, the Wildcats came out with full-court pressure that gave the Vikings all kinds of problems for the next four minutes.
During that span, Taylor Jones drilled a jumper, Cory Claeson stole an inbounds pass and and scored on a putback 30 seconds later and Johnson hit a 10 foot banker. With four minutes left, the Wildcats had taken a 21-17 lead.
The Vikings adjusted to Chisago’s pressure and several passes from deep in the backcourt past the timeline gave them a number of easy baskets as the clock wound down. In the last four minutes, North Branch put 15 points on the board. Meanwhile, the Wildcats could manage only two Trevor Johnson baskets. The result was a 32-25 halftime lead for the Vikings.
Both teams averaged a point per minute over the first two thirds of the second period. Johnson scored seven points from the inside for the Wildcats. Chambers helped his team keep pace by scoring eight in almost every way possible. In that interval, he had a tip-in, a putback, a three and a freethrow.
At the six minute mark, the teams stood right where they had at the half. The Vikings still led by seven (46-39) and seemed in control. A Justin Novak basket pushed the North Branch lead to nine. Johnson swished two freethrows to move the margin back to seven.
The Vikings took the air out of the ball in the next few minutes. A key to their success in killing some clock came when the Wildcats fouled Nick Perrin, the Vikings’ most reliable shooter. Perrin missed the front end of a 1 and 1, but the Vikings got the rebound and were able to run about thirty more seconds off the clock.
The margin was cut to six (49-43) when Blane Maher hit Johnson for a short jumper. Thirty seconds later, a Sill putback cut the NB lead to 49-43. Chisago Lakes head coach Herb Jangor’s team was forced to foul to stop the clock.
Perrin drained two freethrows at the two minute mark to move advantage to five (51-46). At 1:39, Johnson’s tip-in brought his team back to within three. North Branch head coach Bill Baumann’s boys knew who should have the ball and Perrin kept it as much as possible.
Inside a minute, Perrin drained two more from the charity line and the Vikings enjoyed a 53-48 lead. A Wildcat miss put the ball back in Viking hands. As soon as someone other than Perrin touched the ball, the Wildcats fouled, again. That put senior Travis Peterson on the line, who dropped two more and gave the Vikings a seemingly safe 55-48 lead with 41 clicks on the clock.
On their next possession, the’ Cats found sharpshooter Taylor Jones parked all by himself in the deep corner. Jones drilled the three and it was 55-51. Another foul sent Peterson back to the line. The Chisago strategy worked this time as he missed both tosses. The Wildcats rebounded and got the ball quickly upcourt.
Tyler Bouwens took the ball one dribble past the timeline and launched a long three that found net with 16 seconds left. At 11.6, Peterson got one more chance from the line. This time he hit the first for a 56-54 lead. Chris Golv had the last chance to score as he hurled a prayer from long range that fell just short as time ran out.
Chisago Lakes 25 29 54
North Branch 32 24 56
Cory Claeson ..................... 4
Tyler Bouwens ..................... 3
Andy Olness ..................... 3
Brian Jennissen ..................... 5
Taylor Jones ..................... 7
Zach Sill ..................... 5
Trevor Johnson ..................... 27
Travis Peterson ........................ 7
Justin Novak ........................ 7
Nick Perrin ........................ 14
John Lindstrom ........................ 7
Jake Chambers ........................ 17
Bryce Hunter ........................ 4
I was real proud of the kids and the way we reacted. We played hard and did as good as job as we could, trying to keep them off the boards. Trevor Johnson is a beast in there. We had no real answer for him except to make him work for everything he got. Their pressure bothered us for a while but if we relaxed and executed we were ok. We did get to get some cheap baskets against it. Every game is a new learning experience for us.
We wanted to slow the game down late in the game but we almost became too conservative. We needed to make a few more free throws down the stretch and that would have made what we were trying to do more effective.
Give Chisago Lakes credit, they didn't quit and kept coming after us right until the final buzzer. In fact I had a good angle on the last shot and from where I was sitting it looked right on line, luckily it was a little short.
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