February 2, 2012 at 8:41 a.m.
Columbia Heights 96, Chisago Lakes 50
The Wildcat boys basketball team suffered another tough blowout loss, this one a 46-point shellacking at the hands of the Columbia Heights Hylanders.
Chisago Lakes didn’t have too bad of a first half. Although they couldn’t score many points, only putting 20 up on the board, Columbia Heights usually high-tempo and effective offense was held to 34 points.
But, after the halftime buzzer, things drastically changed and the Wildcats lost any sort of control they had on the game. Kalante Logan hit seven three pointers in the half, scoring all 21 of his points in the second stanza and leading the Hylanders to a 62-point barrage in the half.
Chisago Lakes only put up 30 points, and they were sent to their sixth straight loss, 96-50.
Per Gulbranson led the Wildcats in scoring at 16 points. He was the only one in double figures. Logan led Heights with 21 points, Jordan Mills added 12 and Deon Sanstad added 11.
Benilde-St. Margaret’s 78, Chisago Lakes 46
Despite another lopsided loss, this game was played much different and much better than the loss to Columbia Heights, according to Head Coach Herb Jangor.
“Despite the score, this was a total team effort. The kids responded to the challenge and turned in one of their better games of the year,” he said.
Although losing by 32 wouldn’t seem to be something to be proud of, when there is a talent discrepancy like the one between the top ranked Class AAA team and the Wildcats, it puts things in perspective.
Chisago Lakes trailed 41-20 at halftime and never got close throughout the second half, but the team battled.
“We mixed up the game plan the night before and decided to switch what we were throwing at them,” Jangor said. “But, when a team features four Division 1 prospects, they find a way to overcome it.”
Jangor said after the game the staff was honest with the kids, asking them, “Do you think Benilde played their hardest?”
Although the team was in agreement that Benilde probably didn’t have their A-game, they did play hard, especially once they found out Chisago Lakes wasn’t going to roll over and give them the big win.
“It was a great effort and the guys played hard, but we can’t be satisfied with just playing well against Benilde,” Jangor said. “There is still plenty of work left to do with the program.”
Gulbranson again led the way with 16 points. Adam Sapp had nine points and Clay Houfer chipped in eight points in the losing effort.
Irondale 85, Chisago Lakes 59
The painful losing continued for Chisago Lakes, and this one wasn’t as hard-fought as the Benilde loss.
The Wildcats played a pretty good first half, down by only six points with a minute and a half left to go. But, five straight turnovers led to 10 straight points by the Knights and what should’ve been a close game at the half was instead turned into a 16-point cushion for Irondale.
“We can’t have stretches like that when we just can’t get anything going,” Jangor said.
Irondale went on to put the game out of range with a strong second half that sent the Wildcats to their eighth straight defeat -- and six of those defeats have been by at least 17 points.
According to Jangor, Irondale didn’t shoot the ball like they’re capable of, and that’s what made the loss so painful. It’s a game that the Wildcats could’ve had a shot at if they would’ve played to their potential. “We pretty much took three steps backward after the Benilde game,” he said. “But, it wasn’t for a lack of effort. The kids are giving it all that they got.”
But, all the superlatives and rah-rah speeches won’t just automatically translate into wins. “These kids deserve to win, but that’s not how it always works. That’s not how life is. You don’t always get what you deserve,” Jangor said. “They are class kids. They’ve got to work hard and earn wins, and I think they can. Sooner or later, as a program from coaching down, we have to get it done and turn this into a good program again. We can’t just accept playing good against Benilde and then poorly against Irondale.”