Trojan offense stalls vs. Nordics

Forest Park sophomore Gavin Johnson raises up to block the shot of a North Dickinson player during the team’s game on Feb. 5 as teammate Jacob Peterson looks on. The Trojans’ shooting went stone cold and they ended up falling to the Nordics by 23 points.
CRYSTAL FALLS—After a captivating and inspirational victory over North Central on Feb. 1, the Forest Park boys basketball team was hoping to use the momentum gained in that win to embark on a run heading down the stretch of the regular season.
    But those hopes were dashed in the Trojans’ first game afterward. As hot as they were in their triumph over the Jets, that’s how cold the Trojans were in their disappointing 57-34 loss to North Dickinson on Feb. 5 at Eddie Chambers Gymnasium.
    Forest Park shot a frigid 28 percent from the field and only hit 2 of 24 (8 percent) from behind the 3-point arc in the loss to the Nordics, a team the Trojans had built a 20-plus point lead against before defeating by 10 just two weeks before.
    The loss brought Forest Park back to breakeven at 7-7. The Trojans were scheduled to host Superior Central on Feb. 8, but the game was postponed by inclement weather. The game was slated to be made up on Monday.
    “I was hoping that we could take some momentum from that big North Central win and that it would carry over, but it didn’t happen,” FP coach Chris Nocerini said. “But we learned our lesson. If you don’t bring the energy and effort, all of that (against North Central) was for nothing.
    “We have a young team and I really felt that’s what happened. All around a frustrating night, but it was a great learning night for us. And for me, too. The day I stop learning is the day I need to get out of this.”
    North Dickinson (8-8) employed a triangle-and-two defense against the Trojans aimed, in part, at stopping FP’s top scorer Riley Hendrickson. The tactic worked but may not have if FP was able to discourage the Nordics early with some successful perimeter shooting, Nocerini said.
    “If we could have hit three or four shots early on, they would have come out of that defense,” Nocerini said. “But we didn’t.”

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