August 20, 2014

Subscriber Login

Trojan boys win two; now at 8-5 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Peter Nocerini   
Tuesday, February 12, 2013 4:33 PM

CRYSTAL FALLS—Due to its jumbled-up schedule, Forest Park’s boys basketball team played three games in four nights last week. The Trojans did pretty good for themselves, winning two of them.
They started with a 62-46 win at home over North Dickinson Feb. 5; rallied from far behind but lost at Mid Peninsula 52-49 on Feb. 6; and stopped Rapid River 62-53 at home Feb. 8.
Entering another three-game week, the team’s season record stood at 8-5 overall, 5-3 in Skyline Conference play.
Vs. Nordics: In their Feb. 1 loss to North Central, Coach Chris Nocerini felt Forest Park shot a little too quickly. In practices that followed, the team was told to take an extra pass or two before taking aim.
The more patient approach worked just fine against North Dickinson. “We emphasized showing a little patience moving the ball around,” said the coach. “Make the defense work a little bit.”
Forest Park shot 51% overall from the field, and, “It came down to good shot selection.” The team got a big boost from L.J. Burns, who led with 14 points and shot 100%. “That really sparked us.” Austin Carlson’s defense was also a big challenge to ND. “They would turn right around and kick it out.”
Lee Graff scored 11, Austin Snell had 10. For ND, Cody Berg led with 16 points, including four triples.
Numbers: FP team: 22-42 (52%) 2’s, 4-9 (44%) 3’s, 6-8 (75%) FTs, 38 rebounds, 21 turnovers. ND team: 13-34 (38%) 2’s, 8-24 (33%) 3’s, 6-13 (46%) FT; 27 rebounds, 17 turnovers.
FP stats: L.J. Burns, 14 points; Lee Graff, 11 pts, 7 rebs, 5 assists; Austin Snell, 10 pts, 5 rebs, 3 asts; Derek Aberly, 8 pts, 4 asts; Austin Carlson, 7 pts, 6 rebs, Chris Hilberg, 5 pts, 5 rebs. Raymond Tomasik, 7 rebs. ND stats: Cody Berg, 16 pts, 4x3, 8 rebs; Logan O’Neil, 11 pts.
Nordics        11    18    12    15    --    56
Trojans        13    26    14    9    --    62
At Mid Pen: Forest Park struggled on offense against the Wolverines, making just 28% of its shots from the field—15% in the first half. “We dug ourselves into a horrible hole,” scoring just 12 in the first half. “It was ugly.”
Mid Pen’s Brett Branstrom played big with 13 points in the first half. “It’s like we were afraid to challenge him in the paint.” At halftime, Nocerini challenged his players to take him on.
New script after the break. Down 29-12 at halftime, FP cut the gap to 35-24 after three. Branstrom was held to two in the third quarter and eight in the entire second half. “We extended the defense and put full-court pressure up and down the floor.”
Forest Park’s offense finally arrived in the second half—Snell led the way with 26 points. Jeff Johnson starred at the other end, collecting 15 rebounds. “You don’t have to be 6-4 to be a rebounder.”
Numbers: FP team: 14-55 (26%) 2’s, 6-18 (33%) 3’s, 3-6 FT; 47 rebounds, 11 turnovers. MidPen team: 19-42 (45%) 2’s, 2-16 (13%) 3’s, 8-21 (38%) FT, 52 rebs, 16 turnovers.
FP stats: Snell, 26 pts, 4x3, 6 rebs; Graff, 10 pts; Jeff Johnson, 7 pts, 15 rebs, 5 asts;  Tomasik, 6 rebs. Mid Pen stats: Brett Branstrom, 21 pts, 30 rebs; Chad Branstrom, 9 pts, 3 asts; Nick Kausak, 8 pts; Trey Branstrom, 8 pts; Ryan Lehtikangas, 6 pts, 8 rebs.
Trojans        6    6    12    25    --    49
Wolverines        16    13    6    17    --    52
Vs. Rockets: Rapid River got off to a 20-15 lead in the first quarter, but the Trojans got going after that. “We put full-court pressure on for the rest of the game.” That led to 14 steals and 21 points off turnovers for FP.
Burns had another strong night off the bench, hitting threes and nailing every free throw. After hitting two triples in the third quarter, he left the game after a hard fall but returned in the final minutes.
Burns and Graff both scored 14 to lead the Trojans, and Tomasik added 12 to go with his team-high six rebounds. “He’s just solid, every game—brings a lot of energy to the floor.”
Snell is no secret any more—opponents are very aware of him—but “He ran the point, made things happen for us and created for other people.” FP’s guards penetrated inside and dished off to the big guys inside. At the end, the team ran clock and celebrated another win.
Numbers: FP team: 24-54 (44%) FG, 4-13 (31%) 3’s, 10-14 (71%) FT, 15 fouls, 14 steals. Rapid River team: 17-41 (41%) FG, 4-11 (36%) 3’s, 15-28 (54%) FT, 17 fouls.
FP stats: Burns, 14 pts, 3x3; Graff, 14 pts, 6 rebs; Tomasik, 12 pts, 6 rebs; Snell, 8 pts; Johnson, 5 pts, 6 asts. RR stats: Robert Metter, 11 pts; Jake Pearson, 10 pts.
Rockets        20    11    10    12    --    53
Trojans        15    18    19    10    --    62
Coming up: All three of the Trojans’ games this week are on the road. After visits to Florence Feb. 11 and Republic-Michigamme Feb. 12, the bus heads to Bark River on Feb. 15.
Next week starts with a Feb. 18 game at North Dickinson (a make-up date).


Add comment

Security code