CRYSTAL FALLS—Besides playing Forest Park’s boys team here Jan. 10, the Kingsford Flivvers also staged a shooting clinic.
At the very same time.
The Flivvers showed how it’s done by shooting out the lights in the Eddie Chambers Gym, flattening the Trojans 63-39.
It was Forest Park’s only game last week. The Trojans are now 4-3 overall and remain 2-1 in the Skyline Conference.
“It’s simple,” said FP Coach Chris Nocerini after it finally ended. “They were better. They were bigger than us, they were faster than us, and they move well. We have a lot to learn defensively, we found out.”
The coach planned to have his players watch a replay of the game “and show them where we can make those corrections defensively.”
But there’s not much a team can do when its opponent is shooting as well as the Flivvers did. In the first half, Kingsford made 9 of 13 two-point attempts (69%) and 58% of their twos and threes combined. “If we shot like that,” the Trojans’ coach deadpanned, “I’d retire.”
For the entire game, the Flivvers shot 50%, and Forest Park just couldn’t compete. The Trojans connected on 44% of their twos but couldn’t get the three-point shot to fall, hitting just 18% (2 of 11). Their overall shooting success from the floor: 37%.
In the first quarter, the Trojans’ Austin Snell got an early basket, Tyler Lovato knocked in a three, and L.J. Burns converted a three-point play at the end. But aside from that, the Flivvers were dominant, and they seemed to do things by twos: two free throws by Jeff Gregory, two threes by Gregory, two twos by Cole Michaud and two threes by Caleb Harrington.
Ahead 20-8 after one, the Flivvers just kept on shooting and hitting. Gregory, who had eight points in the first quarter, added nine in the second, A 17-2 blitz built up a 43-13 Kingsford lead at halftime.
The Flivvers led by as much as 33 in the third quarter, but Forest Park finally got some offense going, and the Flivvers dialed it down a little. A 9-0 Trojan run in the fourth quarter included three consecutive Ben Painter buckets and another three by Lovato.
Forest Park’s shooting from the floor improved a lot after halftime, from 28% in the first half to 44% in the second half. Burns led the Trojans’ scoring with eight points, and Snell, Painter, Smithson and Lovato all added six apiece.
Gregory finished with 19 (17 in the first half) to lead Kingsford, followed by Harrington (12), Michaud (11) and Nick Baldwin (10). The Flivvers had six threes to FP’s two and outscored the Trojans 15-5 at the free throw line.
Nocerini said the Flivvers did a lot of things well. “They were phenomenal on their picks. Their screening and their rolling to the basket. And the speed they played the game.” Kingsford plays hard and fast, and the Trojans were scrambling all night to keep up.
• The Trojans are on the road this week. They visited Bark River-Harris Jan. 16 and will visit West Iron on Thursday, Jan. 19. The team returns home Jan. 24, meeting North Dickinson for the first time this season.
The game against Bark River was the Trojans’ first conference game since Dec. 15—but after playing the Wykons, 10 of their last 11 games are Skyline contests.
Flivvers 20 23 10 10 -- 63
Trojans 8 5 8 18 -- 39