Boys bring it home
NORWAY – After watching his team put up only minimal points in two out of four quarters in Friday’s match-up between the Emeralds and Norway Knights, Coach Todd Kangas wemy back to the drawing board. The team lost 60-31 in Norway.
Connor Selling sank the lone bucket in the first period for the Emeralds, who trailed by eight when it came to an end. Following a short break, a three-point basket by Zach Lambert sparked a 16-point effort by Manistique, who left the floor in the half tied at 18. From that point on, however, it was all Norway.
The Knights bettered their visitors 19-10 in the third and 23-3 in the final eight minutes of play.
“Two points in the first and three in the fourth is not going to lead to a very successful game” said Kangas. “I thought our guard play was very poor overall for the night. Old habits kept popping up; we can’t turn the ball over 25 times a game and expect to win.”
While frustrated with his team’s showing, Kangas said their effort to tie it in the second was impressive, but short-lived.
“I like the way we battled back in the second, but we were outscored 19-10 in the third,” he explained. “From there, it put a lot of pressure on us to do some things defensively that we are really not the best at late in the game, and they took advantage of it.”
It took a bit of chalk, but Kangas got the game plan he was looking for, especially from his guards, Monday night in a win against the Rudyard Bulldogs.
Trailing 45-43, Lambert launched a monster three that hit and put the Emeralds up by one at the end of the third quarter. Rudyard controlled a small lead throughout the quarter, jumping out to five points with less than a minute to play.
Down 60-55, a triple by Tyler Kangas cut the Bulldogs lead to two with less than a minute to play. Taking advantage of a turnover, Lambert tied the game at 60. Fouled while driving to the basket, Selling put his team up by two with 15 seconds left in the game.
Lambert finished off the Bulldogs with a pair from the line as time ran out. He wrapped up the night with a 22-point total to lead all scorers.
“We rebounded back pretty well after a poor game last Friday,” Kangas said. “We really came out and competed well. We addressed some of the things that had plagued us in the past, cut down the turnovers and our guards were much improved. Both captains Zach (Lambert) and Connor (Selling) played a really good game.”
The Emeralds finished the night 8-of-14 from three-point range. Selling led the effort with four triples, and 18 points in the win. Kangas added 13 points, Coby Ryan six, and Max Nelson five.