Trojan boys come up big, defeat Norway, Broncos

The Trojans’ Jacob Frisanco tries to work closer to the basket, but Bark River-Harris’ Mason Korhonen isn’t making it easy.
CRYSTAL FALLS—As the regular season nears its end, Forest Park’s boys team is on a run. The Trojans showed their improving play twice to their home fans last week, first edging past Norway 56-52 on Feb. 13 and then defeating Bark River-Harris 61-51 on Feb. 16. Both opponents are now 10-6.
    Meanwhile, the Trojans improve to 11-7 for the year, 6-2 in the Skyline Central race. Powered by improved shooting and an eye for 3-pointers, the Trojans have won five of their last six games, including some pretty good opponents.
    Just what coach Chris Nocerini wants to see as the post-season nears. “It’s been a good week of basketball,” he said after the Bark River game. “This is what you hope for in mid-February.
    “Our record is very deceiving,” he added. “And I’ll leave it at that. I’ll fly under the radar all year long.” That’s getting harder to do after last week’s twin wins.
    “They were tough teams,” agreed senior Jonah Logan after the Bark River game. “We just had to keep pushing and pushing through our opponents.
    “As coach said, we’ve just got to relax and play our game.” That means scoring, but it also means rebounds. “We have to be strong with the ball,” Logan said. “The better we are with the ball in our hands, the better we are as a team.”
    Early last week, Forest Park’s big priority was getting past its surprise 44-38 loss at Superior Central, when the offense came up empty. “The kids responded great Monday in practice,” Nocerini said, “and we really stepped up our intensity against Norway.”
    Norway got off to a quick 8-2 lead and led 23-17 at halftime, helped by Connor Ortman’s seven points in the second quarter. The Trojans made only one 3-pointer in the first half—by Connor Bortolini, who scored seven of FP’s nine points in the second quarter.
    For the Trojans to succeed, everybody needs to chip in on offense. When they did that in the third quarter, the game turned around. Max Nylund sank two treys, and Bortolini and Riley Hendrickson knocked in one each. Jake Frisanco added five points, and Josh Logan had four.
    It all adds up: Forest Park outscored Norway 21-14 in the third and took a 38-37 lead into the final eight minutes.

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