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Final countdown for Forest Park PDF Print E-mail
Written by Peter Nocerini   
Tuesday, February 19, 2013 3:21 PM

CRYSTAL FALLS—The rigors of consecutive three-game weeks now behind them, Forest Park’s boys basketball team can now focus on fine-tuning their game before the district tournament starts.
But they have just two weeks to do it, and several tough customers remain on their dance card.
Last week, the Trojans had few problems at Florence (74-36, Feb. 11) and Republic-Michigamme (55-40, Feb. 12) but got stampeded at Bark River-Harris in the fourth quarter (62-52, Feb. 15).
The Trojans’ record now stands at 10-6 overall and 6-4 in Skyline Conference play.
At Florence: The Trojans went on an 11-0 run in the first quarter and later broke away on an 18-4 rally to close out the first half. They had a 37-16 lead at halftime.
FP’s transition game sparkled in the second quarter, with Austin Snell scoring all 12 of his points and Derek Aberly adding nine. Earlier, Chris Hilberg and Lee Graff led the Trojan attack.
With another game in 24 hours, the reserves took over from there. Austin Carlson scored all 11 of his points in the second half, and Mitch Bal, Hank Steiro, Cameron Davis and Jeff Willman all added to the point total. For the night, the Trojans shot 44%..
Numbers: FP team: 32-68 (47%) 2’s, 2-9 (22%) 3’s, 4-9 (44%) FT; 63 rebounds; 16 turnovers; 11 fouls. Florence team: 9-33 (27%) 2’s, 4-19 (21%) 3’s, 6-12 (50%) FT, 26 rebounds, 18 turnovers, 10 fouls.
FP stats: Derek Aberly, 13 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists; Chris Hilberg, 13 pts; Austin Snell, 12 pts; Austin Carlson, 11 pts, 14 rebs; Lee Graff, 6 pts. Florence stats: Austin Herman, 8 pts, Josh Bomberg, 7 pts; Jonathan Ouradnik, 6 pts; Tyler Valine, 5 rebs, 4 stls.
Trojans        12    25    21    16    --    74
Bobcats        6    10    5    15    --    36
At Republic: The Trojans broke out with another big first quarter, 15-4. ”Our guys came out nice in the first half,” Coach Chris Nocerini said. “We worked on a few things.”
Again, FP’s reserves got plenty of work. “That’s a very satisfying night for me as a coach.”     Snell led the Trojans with 18 points, and Graff scored eight, both in limited minutes.
Numbers: FP team: 3x3, 2-6 (33%) FT, 8 fouls. R-M team: 2x3, 10-11 FT, 7 fouls.
FP stats: Austin Snell, 18 pts, 2x3; Lee Graff, 8 pts; Jeff Johnson, 6 pts; Raymond Tomasik, 6 pts; Chris Hilberg, 6. R-M stats: Marcus Antilla, 14 pts; Philip Koski, 12 pts.
Trojans        15    21    13    6    --    55
Hawks        4    12    6    18    --    40
At Bark River: Forest Park trailed by seven at halftime, but rallied 20-8 in the third quarter to take a 43-38 lead into the fourth quarter.
FP had turnover troubles (nine) in the first half, but Snell’s seven points led the big third quarter, which ended with Snell hitting a three off Graff’s inbounds pass.
But the fourth quarter was all Broncos: They outscored FP 24-9 in the final eight minutes to win by 10, hitting several big three-pointers and making 11 free throws—while the Trojans missed six at the line.
Off target: For the night, BRH outscored FP 15-9 at the line. In all three games last week, FP made less than 50% of its free throws.
In general, the Trojans’ marksmanship was off at Bark River—31% overall from the floor. “When we don’t shoot in the 40% range,” Nocerini said, “we’re in trouble. A lot of that comes down to taking high percentage shots.”
During FP’s big third quarter, he said, “We were playing with a little more intensity. Their intensity and their defense is the fuel for their offense. They’re better off running and gunning.”
Snell led with 13 points, Graff scored 12, and Carlson came off the bench to score seven and grab nine rebounds. “It’s so nice when you can put a 6-6 kid out on the floor, and he gives us production.” Carlson is a sophomore.
Numbers: FP team: 20-64 (31%) FG, 3-14 (21%) 3’s; 9-20 (45%) Ft; 23 fouls, 46 rebounds. BRH team: 19-58 (33%) FG, 9-24 (38%) 3’s, 15-23 (65%) FT; 18 fouls, 50 rebounds.
FP stats: Snell, 13 pts, 7 rebs, 4 steals; Graff, 12 pts; Carlson, 7 pts, 9 rebs; Johnson, 7 pts; Tomasik, 6 pts. BRH stats: Cody Welch, 20 pts, 3x3; Kyle Kleiman, 12 pts; Jordan Sodergrew, 2x3.
Trojans        6    17    20    9    --    52
Broncos        11    19    8    24    --    62
Coming up: The Trojans visited North Dickinson Feb. 18 and host powerful Carney-Nadeau Feb. 22. They visit North Central on Feb. 26 and finish the regular season at home Feb. 28 against Republic-Michigamme—a game pushed back from Dec. 6.


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