January 6, 2023 at 11:29 a.m.
Hutchinson might be among the class of football teams in Minnesota, but North Branch proved their hoops’ squad isn’t quite at that level when they beat them handily 79-57 in the opening round of the Granite City Classic on Thursday, December 29 in St. Cloud.
Carson Klein led the Vikings with 21 points, Tyler Minke added 18 and Brody Beaver had 15 as the Vikings’ balanced offense provided fits for the Tigers all game.
North Branch led by double digits at halftime, up 39-28, and then extended the lead in the second half as Noah Thorsen added 11 points and Mason Young had 10.
Rocori 64, North Branch 41
In another familiar football match up, the Vikings took on the Rocori Spartans in the second round of the classic on Friday, December 30.
The Vikings took on Rocori in the first round of the state tournament in football just over a month ago and now the school’s met for the first time on the court and the Spartans came out on top again.
The offensive balance wasn’t struck against Rocori, as their suffocating defense kept the Vikings from getting rolling. They only scored 18 points in the first half and then added 23 in the second half for their lowest offensive output of the season.
Thorsen had 13 points and led the way, while Klein had 11 points. Minke added six and no one else scored over three points for the Vikings.