January 24, 2013 at 9:55 a.m.
Totino-Grace 78, Chisago Lakes 62
Chisago Lakes realized on Friday, Jan. 21 that they may need to pull a few more tricks from their bag to win games in the tough North Suburban Conference.
The Wildcats hosted the Totino-Grace Eagles, who were 2-9 on the year, with an 0-4 mark in the North Suburban Conference. Despite shooting 16-of-19 from the free throw line, eight-of-12 from beyond the three point arc and 19-of-33 from the field overall, Chisago Lakes was never really close to the Eagles.
Totino and Chisago Lakes started out evenly matched, but soon enough, behind their top two scorers Collin Fleming and Reggie Meyer and a boatload of turnovers for the Wildcats, Totino-Grace started to build a lead. Those turnovers ended up being too much for Chisago Lakes to overcome in the first half despite their hot shooting.
They went into the locker room down 40-25 at the break and had to regroup for a second half run. Not much changed, however, in the second half. Mitch Berg was on fire for the Wildcats, but when he wasn’t draining shots, the ‘Cats were turning it over and giving easy buckets to the Eagles. That allowed Totino to keep their foot on the pedal and not allow Chisago Lakes to get back into the game.
The teams matched each other for points in the second half, but that hardly mattered for CL since they were down by 15 at the break. The Eagles ended up winning the game 78-62 after getting 18 points from Meyer, 17 points from Fleming and nine points each from Luke Gasperlin and Seth Sullwood.
The Wildcats only had five scorers on the night. Berg had a game-high 23 points on efficient shooting. He took only nine shots to get those 23 points, including four three pointers. He also went seven-of-nine from the free throw line. He also added four rebounds and three assists. Clay Houfer added 16 points and six rebounds for the Wildcats and Vinnie Gorski scored 13 points, dished out three assists and had two blocks in the losing effort. Things don’t get any easier this week for Chisago Lakes.
Earlier this week, the ‘Cats took on the Rashad Vaughn-led Cooper Hawks, who are 5-0 in the North Suburban Conference this year and are a tough, high-scoring team. On Friday, Jan. 25, they travel down to St. Louis Park to take on the Benilde-St. Margaret’s Red Knights. Although BSM is struggling this year and isn’t quite the powerhouse they’ve been the past decade, they are still a tough team, especially at home. The Wildcats close the week with a weekend matinee home game against Cambridge-Isanti at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 26 at CLHS.
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