January 23, 2020 at 2:36 p.m.
Princeton 78, Chisago Lakes 63
Chisago Lakes 63, Big Lake 49
The Wildcats ended their long stretch of road games by breaking a six-game losing streak that started the week before Christmas, beating Big Lake by 14 points Thursday, January 16.
They began the week with an inspired performance against Princeton, which is one of the top Class AAA teams in the state.
They matched the Tigers’ offensive output for the most part in the first half, trailing by only eight at halftime.
They were buoyed by a monster performance from Andrew Koehler on the inside.
Princeton, with a well rounded and talented roster, stayed ahead of Chisago Lakes the whole game, but the ‘Cats hung around long enough to make the Tigers work for it, although they eventually prevailed 78-63.
Koehler’s final line was 32 points and 14 rebounds. Ryan Sanvik had 10 points and 10 rebounds for his first double double of the year. Grant Koehler added five points and five board and Ethan Thompson had four points, four rebounds and four assists.
Princeton had four players in double figures, lef by Cody Miller’s 19. Tate Laabs had 10 points, nine assists and eight steals as an all around pest for the Tigers.
Against Big Lake, the Wildcats got a 20/20 performance from Koehler and a ton of support, especially on the board, for a great team win that broke them out of their funk.
The ‘Cats only led by two at halftime over the two-win Hornets, but they turned the pressure up a notch in the second half to end up winning 63-49.
Koehler had 23 points and 21 rebounds, Noah Lasiuta dropped his hat in the double-double ring, scoring 12 points and grabbing 13 rebounds, and Sanvik added 10 boards with six points. As a team, the ‘Cats brought down a season-high 57 rebounds, keeping the Hornets from getting their offense moving.
Thompson chipped in 12 points and five assists in the CL win.
Koehler now leads the state in rebounding at 14.9 boards per game. The junior has a slight lead on Jacob Donnett of Kaleidoscope Academy.
Rocori 75, North Branch 63
Becker 78, North Branch 71
North Branch’s losing streak hit nine with losses ro Rocori and Becker after starting the season 3-0.
The Spartans used a big first half to build a 14 point lead that they wouldn’t relinquish the rest of the contest. Andrew Anderson was dominant for Rocori, scoring 26 points and grabbing 18 rebounds while also swatting four blocks. Two days later, Becker came into North Branch’s home gym and escaped with a narrow win on Thursday, January 16.
The Vikings hit some early shots to hang with the Bulldogs, but Becker made a nice run before halftime to take a double-digit lead into the break, and it looked like they might run away with it, as they are unbeaten in conference play so far while North Branch still doesn’t have an M8C win.
But, the Vikings started hitting their outside shots again and trimmed the lead all the way back down to five points at 63-58 before a rash of missed opportunities cost them down the stretch. North Branch had to revert to fouling Becker and the Bulldogs made good on enough of their free throws to hold on for a seven point win.
Becker-North Branch Postponed
North Branch only had one game scheduled last week, and it was against defending state champion and Mississippi 8 Conference newcomer Becker, who is undefeated this year. Because of the Friday night snow storm, the game was called earlier and will be made up at a later date.
The next test for the Vikings was on Tuesday, January 21 as they took on the Cambridge-Isanti Bluejackets. They’ll travel to Chisago Lakes for county rivalry night against the Wildcats on Thursday, January 23. They open the night with a 5:45 p.m. game while the boys’ teams will play 20 minutes after that game ends, or tentatively scheduled for 7:15 p.m.
Chisago Lakes 59, Princeton 56
Chisago Lakes pulled off their biggest win of the year by upsetting Princeton on the Tigers’ homecourt on Tuesday, January 14. Princeton was 8-7 on the year coming in while Chisago Lakes was 2-10 and riding a five game losing streak.
The ‘Cats started out hot on offense, which has been their biggest issue all year. They’ve had multiple games where nobody scored in double figures, but they had three this game in Lizzy Godden, Alyssa Hempel and Jill Erickson. They also got eight from Katherine Saueressig and seven from Greta Gillach.
Chisago Lakes’ shot making kept Princeton at arms reach for the whole game, but as Princeton pressed, the ‘Cats actually played really well, stretching their lead to 14 with just over three minutes to play.
But some costly turnovers and big Princeton shots cut that lead down to six. Curiously, Princeton dribbled out almost 35 seconds on their last possession before hitting a three pointer as the buzzer sounded and time expired, making the final score appear closer than it was.
Godden led the girls with 16 points, four rebounds and four assists. Hempel had 12 points and was a monster on the glass, securing 17 rebounds, and Erickson scored 11 points for CL.
The defense was really the star for the ‘Cats, as they held Maddie James, who’s had games of 39 and 36 points in the last few weeks, to only 13 for the game.