February 3, 2011 at 9:29 a.m.
Despite a 3-9 record heading into their contest with Spring Lake Park, the North Branch boys basketball team figured they had something to prove. They had just won their second conference game, and they were starting to play some better basketball.
And although Forrest Huset and the rest of North Branch put up a tough fight, the size disadvantage they were at was evident throughout the whole game.
"We played very well against a very good, well coached Spring Lake Park team," Head Coach David Anderson said. "However, the game was lost on the boards as Spring Lake Park really attacked the glass and ended with 20 offensive rebounds."
That was clear in the first half, as North Branch was down by 10 points heading into the locker room despite a big first half from Huset.
As the game wore on, only Huset's offensive game kept things from getting out of hand as the senior was scoring in a variety of ways.
North Branch ended up dropping the contest by 14 points in the end, as they just couldn't find a second complementary scorer for Huset.
"Our guys gave a great effort and did a great job finding Forrest, who had his best game of the season," Anderson said. "We had good contributions from a lot of players and if we continue to make strides like we have so far, we will continue to be very competitive against anyone we face."
Huset ended the contest with a game-high 34 points. Christian Ehrnriter and David Leason each added seven points each.
Benilde-St. Margaret's 84, North Branch 52
Despite the lopsided final score of last weekend's match up between the Red Knights and Vikings, the crew from the north definitely put a scare in BSM early on.
"We played one of our best halves of the year during the first half and really pushed an excellent Benilde team to the edge," Anderson explained. "Our guys showed a tremendous amount of heart and desire as we won the rebounding battle against a much bigger more physical team."
Huset and Leason led the Vikings throughout the spirited first half as North Branch went shot for shot with BSM. Leason did his early damage despite coming off the bench. The spark he provided was a vital one for North Branch.
As the two teams headed into the locker room at half, North Branch was only down three points at 34-31.
But, as the second half wore on, the Vikings wore down. They couldn't keep up with the torrid pace that the efficient Red Knight offense was setting.
"In the second half we just couldn't keep up with the scoring pace Benilde came out with and didn't execute as well as we needed to against their 1-3-1 defense they showed us," Anderson said after the disappointing first half. "Give credit to Coach More and his staff, they have a great squad and should have a chance to be right there at the end of the year."
The Red Knights piled on the points in the second half, taking that three point halftime lead and stretching it to 32 points by the end of the night.
But, there were still plenty of impressive performances from the Vikings.
"We had outstanding performances from David Leason and Alec Schwab, who came off the bench and really gave us a spark. Along with David, Tom Kinsella did a great job picking up the scoring slack since Benilde was focused on stopping Forrest," Anderson said. "Forrest really did a great job fighting through tough defensive pressure to get his 10 points, and Christian Ehrnriter played another solid game and did a good job of keeping our game plan intact."
Leason led the boys with 18 points on the day and Huset had 10. Kinsella added eight points in the losing effort.
Commenting has been disabled for this item.