February 9, 2012 at 11:25 a.m.

Lady Vikes cruise to two easy wins last week

Lady Vikes cruise to two easy wins last week
Lady Vikes cruise to two easy wins last week

By JEFF NORTON
SPORTS EDITOR
With a combined record of 7-28, North Branch’s opponents last week didn’t quite strike fear into them, but things are never easy once the ball is on the court.
However, the Lady Vikings made their 2-0 week look fairly easy, winning the two games by a combined 42 points.
North Branch 55, Princeton 36
The Vikings grabbed an early lead and never relinquished it from the Tigers, an old Rum River Conference foe.
Although North Branch only lead by five points after the first half, they were soundly in control of the game, and began to run away with it in the second half. Stretching their lead to double-digits quickly. “I think we did a lot of things better tonight that we have been working hard in practice to do,” Head Coach Dan Schindler said. “Our ball reversal on offense was better and we did a nice job of running our offense until we found the open person.”
North Branch was paced by Kallie Grote, as she netted 19 points in the winning effort.
“Kallie really let the game come to her and she took her shots when she got them,” Schindler explained. “She is a good shooter and she really picked up our offense.”
Sarah Lekson added 11 points and point guard Haley Huset chipped in 10.
Annette Olson finished with eight points, leaving the Vikes only one basket short of having four girls score in double digits for the game.
“I really like it when we can get that balanced scoring,” Schindler noted. 
He also commended the defense for holding the Tigers to only 36 points. Although they only have three wins, Princeton has been able to put up a good chunk of points at times this season.
“Our defense was solid all night. I was worried about their quickness, but we played great transition basketball,” he said. “Haley  did a great job on both ends of the court and had 11 rebounds.  It was an important win for us as Princeton is now in our section for tournament play.”
 
North Branch 52, Columbia Heights 29
Because of the goofy conference scheduling, the Vikings only faced the Hylanders this one time during the season. Because of that, Schindler didn’t spend as much time game-planning for their type of team, and it showed early.
“We only play them once in the conference so it took us a little while to adjust to their team,” he said. “I thought we started the game a little sluggish and missed too many easy shots.”
However, behind Olson’s 10 first half points, the Vikings held a 24-14 lead at halftime and slowly added on to it throughout the second half.
With a big cushion, Schindler was able to get some of the girls in his rotation a little extra work.
“Cassedy Coleman continues to shine for us on the defensive end.  Cassedy gives us that 100 percent effort every night and she doesn't always get the stats,” he said. “But nobody works harder for us than Cassedy.”  
Eighth grader Courtney Selbitcshka also picked up a stat-stuffing line with five steals and four assists.
“I like that its different people for us every night that can step up and help our team,” Schindler said after the week. “We are pretty balanced and we continue to improve. We have a very tough schedule left and will need everyone to continue to play good basketball.”
At 12-7 now, the girls still have to face three of the top four teams in the conference once each. They had Cooper earlier this week, Totino-Grace next week and Chisago Lakes to close out the season.
Dotted in that are games against Proctor, Irondale, Fridley and St. Francis.
With a combined record of 7-28, North Branch’s opponents last week didn’t quite strike fear into them, but things are never easy once the ball is on the court.
However, the Lady Vikings made their 2-0 week look fairly easy, winning the two games by a combined 42 points.
North Branch 55, Princeton 36
The Vikings grabbed an early lead and never relinquished it from the Tigers, an old Rum River Conference foe.
Although North Branch only lead by five points after the first half, they were soundly in control of the game, and began to run away with it in the second half. Stretching their lead to double-digits quickly. “I think we did a lot of things better tonight that we have been working hard in practice to do,” Head Coach Dan Schindler said. “Our ball reversal on offense was better and we did a nice job of running our offense until we found the open person.”
North Branch was paced by Kallie Grote, as she netted 19 points in the winning effort.
“Kallie really let the game come to her and she took her shots when she got them,” Schindler explained. “She is a good shooter and she really picked up our offense.”
Sarah Lekson added 11 points and point guard Haley Huset chipped in 10.
Annette Olson finished with eight points, leaving the Vikes only one basket short of having four girls score in double digits for the game.
“I really like it when we can get that balanced scoring,” Schindler noted. 
He also commended the defense for holding the Tigers to only 36 points. Although they only have three wins, Princeton has been able to put up a good chunk of points at times this season.
“Our defense was solid all night. I was worried about their quickness, but we played great transition basketball,” he said. “Haley  did a great job on both ends of the court and had 11 rebounds.  It was an important win for us as Princeton is now in our section for tournament play.”
 
North Branch 52, Columbia Heights 29
Because of the goofy conference scheduling, the Vikings only faced the Hylanders this one time during the season. Because of that, Schindler didn’t spend as much time game-planning for their type of team, and it showed early.
“We only play them once in the conference so it took us a little while to adjust to their team,” he said. “I thought we started the game a little sluggish and missed too many easy shots.”
However, behind Olson’s 10 first half points, the Vikings held a 24-14 lead at halftime and slowly added on to it throughout the second half.
With a big cushion, Schindler was able to get some of the girls in his rotation a little extra work.
“Cassedy Coleman continues to shine for us on the defensive end.  Cassedy gives us that 100 percent effort every night and she doesn't always get the stats,” he said. “But nobody works harder for us than Cassedy.”  
Eighth grader Courtney Selbitcshka also picked up a stat-stuffing line with five steals and four assists.
“I like that its different people for us every night that can step up and help our team,” Schindler said after the week. “We are pretty balanced and we continue to improve. We have a very tough schedule left and will need everyone to continue to play good basketball.”
At 12-7 now, the girls still have to face three of the top four teams in the conference once each. They had Cooper earlier this week, Totino-Grace next week and Chisago Lakes to close out the season.
Dotted in that are games against Proctor, Irondale, Fridley and St. Francis.

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