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FP splits league games

By Jerry DeRoche
CRYSTAL FALLS—After a three-game stretch on the road, the Forest Park Trojans returned home for a pair of Skyline Central Conference games last week and wound up with a split.
    In the initial game on Jan. 28, Keall Emmers scored 18 points and grabbed six rebounds to lead FP to a 51-46 decision over North Dickinson at Eddie Chambers Gymnasium. Three nights later, the Trojans (5-6) fell victim to Carney-Nadeau’s two-man senior duo of Brett LaFord and Max Baumler in a 53-44 setback.
    After the Carney game, FP coach Kurt Lehmann offered his thoughts on the week.
    “I think overall it was a pretty big week for us and we’ve got to continue to get better. And I think there was a lot of good tonight. I mean, there were a lot of things that we did well, and we’ve got to continue to build on the good and minimize the bad. And I think we’re capable of it, it’s just a matter of understanding and everybody playing the way they’re capable of.”
    Against C-N (7-5), Forest Park watched Baumler knock
 down three 3-pointers and a layup in the opening 3½ minutes as the Wolves took a 14-7 lead. Trojan junior Tommy Showers kept his team in the hunt by scoring his team’s first 11 points as the Trojans trailed 18-14 after the opening quarter.
    Late in the first quarter, Lehmann switched from his man defense to a 3-2 to cover the C-N shooters and the move began to take effect, especially in the second quarter. Forest Park held the Wolves scoreless over a five-minute span as the Trojans wiped out a nine-point deficit to take a 24-23 lead before LaFord hit a jumper with six seconds left before intermission to give his team a one-point lead.
    “It’s something that we’ve been going to a decent amount this year,” Lehmann said of the zone. “It did work for a while there, but they adjusted and we’ve got to be able to adjust quicker and understand where people are and be able to get to them, and we didn’t do a good job of doing that tonight.”
    Those struggles came in the fourth quarter. In the third, the Trojans held C-N to 4 of 17 from the field, including 0 for 11 from the 3-point arc and took a 38-33 into the fourth quarter. Offensively, Emmers led the charge with nine of his 14 points.
    “My teammates were able to get me some open shots,” Emmers said. “We ran the plays well and just created open space and luckily I got them to fall.”
    But the Wolves’ marksmanship came back in the fourth, especially from LaFord. The 6-foot-1 guard hit back-to-back jumpers, including a deep 3, and then scored off a drive to put his team on top 45-40 with five minutes to play. LaFord finished with a game-high 28 points, including 16 in the second half.
    Baumler added 21 as the Wolves launched 33 3-point shots, hitting eight (24 percent).

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