Posted On: 12/11/17 9:17 PM
This week in the Notes from the North: Recap, we’ll highlight five takeaways from last week in northern Minnesota basketball.
Northern MN at the Breakdown Tip-Off Classic
A handful of northern MN teams competed over the weekend at the Breakdown Tip-Off Classic, held at Hopkins. Here is a look at some of the performances from northern MN players:
Esko was defeated by Annandale 68-55. Senior center Adam Trapp was limited to 12 points in the loss. Fellow Eskomos Camden Berger and Quinn Fisher netted 18 and 13, respectively.
St. Cloud Cathedral dropped a 94-80 shootout to Caledonia. Cathedral was led by Jacob Stoltzenberg’s 26 points, including six makes from downtown for the sophomore. Michael Schaefer added 21 for Cathedral, who were without Mitchell Plombon.
Fergus Falls was done in by a tremendous performance by Calvin Wishart (32 pts, 8 reb, 8 ast), as Delano was victorious 85-58. Three Otters scored in double-figures, Harrison Christensen with 17, Nathan Rund with 14, and Matthew Johnson with 13.
St. Cloud Tech, playing without Brevyn Spann-Ford and James Kaczor who were competing in the MN High School Football All-Star Game, fell to Lakeville North 71-42. They had two players in double-figures, Trent Meyer and Kail Lindgren with 17 and 10, respectively.
The Perham Yellowjackets made a statement, defeating Breck by a score of 82-75. Perham was playing without a big presence down low, as Logan Richter was also participating in the MN High School Football All-Star Game. However, they had plenty of firepower from a pair of juniors, as Jenson Beachy led the way with 36, followed by 24 from Josh Jeziorski.
Willmar’s Hot Start
Coming off of a 10-17 season a year ago, the Willmar Cardinals were picked to finish in the bottom half of the Central Lakes Conference again this season. So far, their early-season performances would suggest the opposite. They have rattled off three-straight convincing victories to open up the season. On December 2, they dispatched of Zimmerman by a score of 89-51. Three days later, they took care of Dassel-Cokato handily, winning 76-44. Last Friday, they notched their first conference win of the season, beating Sartell-St. Stephen 69-53.
They have been led by one of the premier scoring guards in the state, Noah Slagter. The Northwestern College (IA) commit scored 31 in their opener, and went for 21 points and 12 rebounds against Dassel-Cokato. He was held to just 12 against Sartell, however, Drey Dirsken stepped up with 19 points, going 4-4 from deep, and Ryan Slette also chipped in 15.
We’ll see if the Cardinals can keep the momentum going this week, as they will play Hutchinson on Tuesday and Big Lake on Saturday.
Blue Devils in Business
The Virginia Blue Devils are a team that is quietly going about their business on The Range, opening up with a 3-0 start, including a 75-26 drubbing of Moose Lake-Willow River last Tuesday, and a 59-38 victory over Greenway on Friday. They are led by one of the most solid frontcourts that you will find, with UMD commit Ethan Youso, USD football commit Bryce Kennedy, and Beau Foix, who participated in the MN High School Football All-Star Game over the weekend.
You’ll find them in most early-season rankings, so they are not going unnoticed by any means. If this team can get solid, consistent backcourt play this season, paired with their size and skill up front, they could be a team to watch come March in Class AA.
Sebeka Senior Standouts
The Sebeka Trojans are off to a 3-0 start, and they are being led by an inside-out, senior duo in James Clark and Jack Lillquist. Through three games, Clark is averaging 19.7 PPG, 8 REB, and 6 AST, while Lillquist is averaging 13 PPG, 8.7 REB, 3 AST, and 2.7 STL. Having senior leadership is often a large factor in a team’s success, we’ll see how far this tandem can lead the Trojans this season.
1,000 Point Scorers
NHR was notified of two players from northern Minnesota who eclipsed the 1,000-point mark for their careers over the last week. Senior forward Brevyn Spann-Ford of St. Cloud Tech and junior guard Cade Goggleye of North Woods. Congratulations to both players!