Posted On: 01/12/18 1:17 PM
Last year Turtle Lake-Mercer/McClusky and Washburn shocked Region 5 basketball fans. Everyone expected another installment of the budding Solen-Shiloh rivalry. But hot shooting led to Washburn and TLMM meeting up in the Region 5 finals.
TLMM won the Region 5 crown and also topped Washburn in the District 10 finals last year. Now, both teams will meet again tonight.
TLMM comes in as the favorite. They are 7-1 on the season. They are a young team this season but they have shown an ability to win and finish out close games.
Their youth has shown on the consistency front and was evident in their loss to Flasher. TLMM just didn’t bring it that day.
Offensively, they run a 1-4 high and play a lot of zone defense. What makes their zone better than many others is they still apply ball pressure.
TLMM’s best players are Trapper Jacobs and Seth LaFromboise. Jacobs is a shooter and LaFromboise is a senior leader who can post-up, shoot, rebound and play almost anywhere on the floor.
Washburn hasn’t been consistent this year. They are 4-4 overall. Part of their inconsistency is because they have four sophomores playing critical roles who started the year with no varsity experience. Another part of the struggle is replacing Koby Hanson. Hanson graduated and keyed a lot of Washburn’s attack last year.
Tate Bertolotto, Trevor Schreiner, and Nolan Teigen are the key players for Washburn. Teigen, a drive and kick player, started the year by being moved over to point guard. Schreiner, a wing who’s specialty is sharp shooting, hasn’t found his shooting stroke and Bertolotto is still developing an attacking mindset.
Washburn runs a 4-out/1-in motion offense and usually stays in man-to-man defense. Sometimes they switch it up to 1-3-1 and full-court press.
There are a few big questions for this matchup. Can TLMM rebound and defend the 3-pointer? Can Washburn finally find some offensive flow and consistency?
Q: How have you been playing
A: I’d say I’ve been driving and attacking – that’s one of the things I’ve been doing better and finishing better at the rim. Compared to last year. I’ve shot a little bit better than I did last year too. That’s been better. I’d say I’m playing good.
Q: What do you have to do to win
A: We have to hit the boards that’ll be big. If we can hit the offensive boards and get some easy ones and just get some easy buckets that’ll help us a lot. Those easy buckets can turn a tied ball game into an 8-point ball game and that could ease it a little bit.
Q: What’s the big thing
A: I think the big thing is like I said we have to get more boards but control the rebounds and then watch for shooters. Watch beyond the arc and make sure shooters are covered and put pressure on the ball. Take away their shooting ability and hit the boards.
Q: How have you played so far this year?
A: Lately I haven’t been shooting as well as I’d like to. Other than that doing pretty good. I’ve been doing good finding teammates and getting them the ball.
Q: How do you guys win?
A: Definitely rebound and pressure the shooters. Get a hand up. Just the fact that they can all shoot and they’re capable of going on runs. We can’t let them get started and we have to play all four quarters. We can’t give up anytime.
Q: How do you win?
A: We have to just shut down Trapper and Seth. They have some guys who can hit 3s off the bench but other than that I think just those two are all we have to worry about.
Q: Why have you guys been struggling?
A: We’re a young team, a bunch of guys who have never played together. We show signs of being a great team but then other times we don’t have the team chemistry we should have. But I think we’ll get it clicking here soon.”
Q: How do you guys win?
A: We need to come out first half playing and not stand flat-footed. We need to work as a team and not just one person.
Q: How do you turn the season around?
A: I feel like we need to execute our plays a little more and don’t just chuck up the first opportunity. Just pass it around a few more times and get more open looks.