Evergreen, Eagle hoop teams splitIn Friday night’s match-up between the Northwood and Solon Springs boys basketball teams, the final score turned out to be a sidebar for most fans.
By: Emily Kram, Superior Telegram
In Friday night’s match-up between the Northwood and Solon Springs boys basketball teams, the final score turned out to be a sidebar for most fans.
They were more interested another tally: total team fouls.
The Evergreens and Eagles combined to commit 50 fouls during their game Friday in Minong. Northwood was charged with 29 fouls and Solon Springs was charged with 21.
“I think some of the guys forgot what sport they were playing,” said Dale Rajala, head coach of the Eagles and an assistant coach for the Northwood-Solon Springs football team. “These are their teammates on the line; we’ve got the whole offensive line out there. I expected a few bodies to fly, and those guys needed a little transition from football into basketball.”
Charlie Vig, head coach of the Evergreens, was surprised by the foul numbers. From his view on the sidelines, he didn’t see many hard fouls or overly physical play.
“It didn’t seem like that,” Vig said. “It seemed to me there were a lot of ticky-tacky fouls that most guys — on both teams — could have played through.”
Solon Springs won the game 53-28 and then defeated Birchwood 55-32 Monday to improve to 3-0 this season.
Northwood stands at 1-2 following a 45-39 loss to Shell Lake Monday.
The Evergreens, who rely on their pressure defense to get points off of turnovers, struggled to score in Friday’s closely-called game. Mason Barth scored the first points of the night on a mid-range jumper two minutes into play, but Logan Long and Daniel Gengenbach gave the Eagles a 4-2 lead on a pair of inside shots one minute apart.
Barth tied the game at 4-4 with a steal and layup at 3:38, but Solon Springs closed out the first quarter on a 6-0 run to take the lead for good.
The Eagles committed eight fouls in the first quarter but calmed down in the second to end the half with 13 team fouls. Northwood had a chance to keep close at the free-throw line, but Solon Springs lucked out as the Evergreens shot just 45 percent from the line in the first half.
“We’ve got to clean it up. They know that,” Rajala said. “No lunging for the ball. We’ve got to stay balanced; we’ve got to keep our man in front of us. That’s something definitely fixable that we can clean up.”
Despite the high number of fouls, Rajala was pleased with Solon Springs’ defensive effort.
The Eagles held Northwood to 13 points in the first half and outscored the Evergreens 15-7 and 15-8 in the final two quarters.
Solon Springs also benefited from Northwood’s foul trouble it the second half.
Five players — four of them starters — fouled out for the Evergreens in the fourth quarter. Northwood finished the night with 11 team fouls in the first half and 18 in the second.
“We’re young,” Vig said. “We start three sophomores, a junior that’s basically started one year and a senior. It’s going to take some time for us to get back to where we need to be. We’ll get there.”
The Eagles had 13 first-half fouls and eight second-half fouls, but they managed to slip by without any players fouling out.
For the night, Solon Springs was 21-30 from the free-throw line, while Northwood was 8-of-17.
The Eagles’ Trey Scheldroup led all scorers with 17 points. Gengenbach added 10 for Solon Springs and Long had eight.
Gage Harwick and Joshua Downs led the Evergreens with eight points apiece.
The Eagles open conference play Thursday by hosting Drummond. Solon Springs split its regular season contests with the Lumberjacks last season before falling to Drummond 51-39 in the regional finals.
“Drummond is definitely on top. They’re the top team and these guys know it,” Rajala said. “But we’ve beaten them three out of the last four years at our house, and hopefully we can go into this game and give them a run.”
Evergreen girls win
The Solon Springs and Northwood girls opened play Friday night in the first game of the doubleheader in Minong.
The Eagle and Evergreen girls hadn’t played each other since the 2010 playoffs, and Northwood claiming a 74-39 victory in the renewed rivalry.
“I thought we played well for the most part,” said Jason Schultz, head coach of the Evergreen girls. “We have kids that are hungry. We’ve got a freshman, Carley Stone, we’ve got some seniors that want to get out on that floor and we’ve got sophomores who want to play more. I think when good things are going a lot of people want to help.”
The Evergreens, who advanced to the sectional finals last season, took a 5-2 lead early in the first quarter on a put-back and 3-pointer from sophomore McKayla Waggoner.
Solon Springs kept pace with Tylor Kruse, who scored the Eagles’ first basket and then hit a pair of free throws to make it 5-4. Northwood sophomore Elise Burns then made four unanswered points before a layup by Shayla Bornholdt put the Eagles within three points, 9-6.
But in the last three minutes of the quarter, the Evergreens went on a 10-3 run with Waggoner, Burns, Morgan Block and Kaitlyn Harwick all scoring for Northwood.
The Evergreens took a commanding lead at halftime with a 22-point effort in the second quarter and added to it in the third quarter by outscoring the Eagles 19-10.
The fourth quarter was a bright point for Solon Springs as Rachel Grubbe scored eight points and the Eagles outscored Northwood for the period 17-14.
“I think they’ve improved tremendously from a couple of years back,” Schultz said of the Eagles. “They’ve got some kids that can score, and they shot the ball and hit some threes on us. If they can do that, in their conference a lot of people play zone, so if they can get hot from the outside they might make some noise.”
Waggoner and Burns finished as the leading scorers for the Evergreens with 22 and 19 points, respectively.
“They’re both really good athletes,” Schultz said of the sophomores. “They’ve got a year of experience — they both played a ton of minutes last year as freshmen — so they’re not your normal sophomores.”
Solon Springs 9 3 10 17 — 39
Northwood 19 22 19 14 — 74
Northwood — McKayla Waggoner 22, Elise Burns 19, Morgan Block 8, Kaitlyn Harwick 6, Amber Denninger 6, Hannah Henson 6, Carley Stone 4, Jessica Hill 3.
3-point goals — Waggoner, Block.
Solon Springs — Rachel Grubbe 11, Autumn Blaylock 9, Shayla Bornholdt 6, Alicia Jensen 5, Tylor Kruse 4, Valerie Garay 2, Brianna Larson 2.
3-point goals — Blaylock 3, Grubbe 2.
Solon Springs 10 13 15 15 — 53
Northwood 4 9 7 8 — 28
Solon Springs — Trey Scheldroup 17, Daniel Gengenbach 10, Logan Long 8, Tyler Long 5, Austin Haskins 4, Brett Missinne 4, Jacob Dahlberg 3, Curtis Zamzow 2.
3-point goals — Scheldroup 2.
Northwood — Gage Harwick 8, Joshua Downs 8, Austin Meyer 6, Mason Barth 4, Brady Vig 2.
3-point goals — None.