January 26, 2012 at 8:29 a.m.
After starting the season 8-3 and looking like a contender in their new section, the North Branch girls basketball team has lost three straight game by double digits, including their 11 point loss to Fridley last week.
Although it was their only game last week, they play three games this week and 12 games in the next five weeks, so getting these wins with a lot of rest would've been nice for the Vikings.
The Tigers jumped out to an early lead and had a 10-point cushion at halftime over the 8-5 Vikings.
"We just didn't seem ready to play in the Fridley game," Head Coach Dan Schindler said. "They seemed a step quicker and were getting most of the loose balls in the first half and we dug ourselves in a hole right away."
It took North Branch to be down 17 in the second half to start playing some good basketball. They did well enough to cut the double-digit lead all the way down to two points at 48-46.
The Vikes had three straight possessions with a chance to tie the game, and they couldn't get it done on any of them, which left them deflated and short on time. Fridley went on a 14-5 run the rest of the way to seal the game 62-51.
"I thought Sarah Lekson had a great second half, scoring 15 of her game high 17 points," Schindler said. "Sarah also led us with 11 rebounds. I also thought Annette Olson did a good job for us on the inside and she grabbed nine rebounds."
Despite the furious comeback and getting close, Schindler knows the reason the Vikes didn't pull it out is because they just dug themselves too big of an early hole and couldn't quite claw their way out of it.
"It was a good week to have only one game as I think we needed to get back in the gym and correct some little things that seem to be hurting us," he said. "The girls continue to work hard and we are hoping with eight of our last 11 games at home we can improve our play."
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