Scotties Hit Another Gear In '12 Finale
By J. Levi Burnfin
Published: Friday, December 28th, 2012
Scottie boys’ basketball has a simple New Year’s resolution – continue their momentum.
The Scotties finished off their 2012 schedule with a pair of dominating wins on Thursday and Friday. They first took on a struggling Saco/Whitewater team and cruised to a 56-33 win on Thursday. Then they played their most complete game of the year on Friday in a 62-44 victory over Sidney.
“I’m pleased with what’s going on,” said Head Coach Norm Braaten. “The energy level is so good, it’s fun to watch.”
That energy level really came out in the second half against Saco/Whitewater after a lackluster first-half performance.
“We didn’t come ready to play. We let them shoot. We couldn’t press them. We wouldn’t run offense,” said Braaten.
The Scotties were only up by three at half against a Class C team that hasn’t won a game this season. At half, though, Braaten asked them “if this is what you want.” Apparently, it wasn’t. They outscored the Panthers 23-5 in the third quarter and ran away with the big lead.
That allowed Braaten to start to sub out starters and get some good minutes for less experienced players. The Scotties had 11 different players score in the game, the most they’ve had all season.
It was valuable for the younger players “to learn what we are doing at the varsity level,” said Braaten.
The following day, though, the Scotties had their second Class A opponent of the year on the schedule. They traveled to Sidney to take on the Eagles. Sidney, like Saco/Whitewater, has also struggled so far this year, but with any Class A school, they had talented, big players.
But the Scotties’ energy level was at its peak from the tip-off to the final whistle.
“Against Sidney, I didn’t have to say a word. They came out ready to go and started pressing right off the bat,” said Braaten.
That press stymied the Eagles’ offense and the Scotties jumped out to a 22-10 lead after the first quarter. The Eagles chipped away at the lead for the next two quarters and were within eight at the end of the third.
The Scotties responded with their best defensive effort of the game – they held the Eagles to seven points in the final frame and put up 17 for the 18-point victory.
Four different Scotties scored in double digits. Larson led the way with 21.
“We did a nice job. It was our best game so far,” said Braaten.
The Scotties’ goal now is to try to keep that play going into the new year as they open 2013 with four straight conference games after two weeks off. They’ll have their second home contest of the season on Jan. 4 against Harlem (4-2, 1-1) and then travel for three straight games. They’ll face Plentywood (5-1, 1-1) on Jan. 5, Malta (5-1, 3-0) on Jan. 10, and then Poplar (0-6, 0-3) on Jan. 11.
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