Organized Chaos The Key For Scottie Boys
By J. Levi Burnfin Courier Sports
Published: Wednesday, January 9th, 2013
“Chaotic” was the word of choice for Scottie boys’ head coach Norm Braaten this weekend. That’s because chaotic is the style of play that the boys happen to prefer on the court.
This weekend, that chaos bewildered the Scottie boys’ opponents in two conference wins.
In their first contest, on Friday, Jan. 4, the Scotties defended their home court with a 57-47 victory over the Harlem Wildcats. On Saturday, the Scotties continued their conquests on the road – six of their eight contests have been away from Glasgow – as they took down the Wildcats of Plentywood, 50-40.
But there were still areas to improve, according to Braaten.
“We won two games, we’ve got to be happy about that but we got a ton of work ahead of us,” he said. “Boxing out is becoming a major, major problem.”
The Scotties were out-rebounded by quite a bit in the two games combined. The Scotties made up for their lack of rebounds with stifling defense and that “chaotic” style of play.
Against Harlem, the Scotties pressed the entire game as they harassed Harlem’s ball-handlers up and down the court. And when they forced a turnover, they ran the floor looking for the fast-break points.
That’s where the Scotties were able to break the game open as they went on a 9-1 run early on and stretched their lead to 24-12. The Wildcats answered with a run of their own due to second-chance points and cut the Scotties’ lead to 37-32 in the third.
It’s that type of run that Braaten hopes they can limit with better rebounding. Fortunately, the Scotties held Harlem off long enough for the win.
Against Plentywood’s version of the Wildcats, rebounding was an even bigger problem.
“That was as rough and as physical a game as we’ve had in a long time. They’ve got big kids that go after it hard and our kids hung in there,” said Braaten.
To make rebounding even more difficult, forward Keil Krumwiede fouled out in the middle of the third quarter, forcing shooting guard Bryan Larson to move down low on defense in the Scotties’ 2-3 defense. Larson did corral nine rebounds in the process, though.
Individually, the Scotties lost four of five position battles, according to Braaten. But “collectively as a team, we pick each other up,” said Braaten.
That team effort led to two conference wins to increase the Scotties’ record to 6-2 overall and 2-1 in District 2B play heading into a big matchup against rival Malta on Thursday, Jan 10.
The contest is another road game for the Scotties as they’ll take on a top-five team in the state. Malta is 6-1 overall and 3-0 in conference play. Their lone loss came in a close loss to undefeated Rocky Boy. The Mustangs rolled over Harlem, Plentywood and Poplar in their three conference games so far.
“If we take care of the ball, and if we can keep their two main kids down, [Kendall] Denham and [Tucker] Schye, if we can keep them from having tremendous nights and take care of the ball ourselves, I think we’ll be fine,” said Braaten.
Denham, a Class B All-State quarterback for Malta, may actually be a better passer on the hardwood than the gridiron. He is the proverbial quarterback of his team on the court as he puts his teammates in the best position to succeed with quick moves, solid ball-handling and extraordinary passes.
The key for the Scotties on defense will be their ability to take the ball out of Denham’s hands with pressure and force other Mustangs to make a play. On offense, the key is how many points they’ll be able to muster in their half-court offense, where they’ve had the most trouble this season.
On Friday, the Scotties will transition from one of the best teams in the state to one struggling so far this season, the Poplar Indians. Poplar is 1-7 on the season and 0-3 in conference. Their lone win came against Class C Saco/Whitewater on Jan 4.
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