Still undefeated

The Northwestern High School boys basketball team survived numerous scoreless stretches in its game against Barron Thursday night to remain undefeated. Following the 68-51 win, the Tigers are 3-0 in the Heart O' North Conference and 6-0 overall.

The Northwestern High School boys basketball team survived numerous scoreless stretches in its game against Barron Thursday night to remain undefeated. Following the 68-51 win, the Tigers are 3-0 in the Heart O' North Conference and 6-0 overall.

"It was one of those games where you don't really come out of it feeling great," NHS coach Dan Cowley said. "It wasn't a very clean game; it wasn't very smooth. There were different parts of the game that we played pretty well and then other parts where we didn't.

"I guess the thing I really do feel good about is how we took care of business when the game got tight at the end there. When it got to a one-point game, I thought that they (the Tigers) showed a lot of maturity."

Cowley also said he had to give the Barron team a lot of credit for the way they played.

"They're very competitive," Cowley said. "They're quick, well coached and they play good defense. Some of the problems we had tonight was because of them."


In the first quarter, the Tigers quickly found themselves playing catch-up as Barron opened the game with a 5-0 run. Northwestern pulled within a point of the Golden Bears before Barron went on another scoring streak to lead 12-6 with 1:13 left to play in the quarter. In the final minute of the quarter, however, Saul Falter and Steven Tecker each scored an unanswered basket for the Tigers to make the score 12-10 in favor of Barron.

Northwestern turned the ball over twice to start the second quarter but then found its rhythm and began to take control of the game.

With less than five minutes left to play before the end of the first half, the Tigers trailed 19-15. After that, the situation changed rapidly for the Tigers.

At 4:39 Falter made a layup off of a Tigers' steal to inch within one basket of the Golden Bears. On the defensive end Aaron Corry came through with a block for the Tigers. Kelsey Moreland then got the ball and sunk a 3-pointer to put Northwestern up 20-19 for the team's first lead of the game.

From that point until halftime, the Tigers dominated, going on a 9-3 run to close out the third quarter with a 29-22 lead.

The Tigers and Golden Bears matched each other point for point in the third quarter, as Barron came out still trailing by seven, 44-37.

Before even one minute had ticked off the clock to open the fourth quarter, Barron had scored six unanswered points to make the score 44-43. The Tigers pushed their lead back to five with a pair of free throws and a jumper, and for the next few positions the Tigers' lead wavered between three and five points.

At the 4:41 mark Northwestern picked up its 10th foul, putting Barron in the double bonus. About two and a half minutes later the Tigers joined Barron in the double bonus as Moreland was fouled on Northwestern's inbounding attempt. Moreland made six points on free throws in the fourth quarter.


The Tigers made repeated trips to the free-throw line and outscored the Golden Bears 18-4 in the final five minutes of the game. Northwestern finished out the game with Barron unable to mount a serious attack, as the Tigers got the 68-51 win over their conference rivals.

The Tigers had a good balance of scoring, with the team's points spread out among six players. Falter led the team with 16 points, followed closely by Tecker with 15.

William Koepp also finished in double figures with 11 points, while Devin Doskey and Moreland added nine points each and Corry added eight points to go along with seven rebounds, three steals and four blocked shots

Deo Tecker is still out for the Tigers with a sprained toe, and Cowley said he doesn't know yet when Tecker will return. Devin Doskey has been starting in his place, and Cowley thought Doskey has been doing an excellent job.

"He makes very few mistakes at either end of the floor," Cowley said. "He may not score 30 points but he hits the big shot and he does a lot of positives for you. I think he's been doing a great job."

Moreland was also a bit battered for Thursday's game, after rolling his ankle and taking a knee to the thigh earlier in the week.

"We got him out early in the first quarter because it looked like he wasn't moving too good, but he said 'I can do it' and kind of gutted it out," Cowley said. "That's just the kind of kid he is; he's going to have to pretty much take a leg off before he's not going to be out there."

Cowley also added that Northwestern had good contribution from its players coming off the bench in Thursday's game.


"I thought Aaron Corry did a lot of good things out there for us and Lee Brown gave us some good minutes again tonight," Cowley said.

Before their next game, Cowley wants to see the Tigers learn to make fewer turnovers and run through their offense more quickly and effectively.

In addition, Cowley said he would like to see the team improve at the free-throw line, where the Tigers were 16-for-25 on the night.

"The way we play sometimes you just get stretches where it's not going to look real pretty, but that's just part of what you're going to get," Cowley said. "You can't play fast-paced basketball, you can't run and press, and then not make turnovers and have your offense always look crisp. It's just the nature of the way you play."

TIGER TALES: Steven Tecker led NHS in rebounds with nine. ... Brad Hallberg led Barron (0-3) with 17 p.m. Justin Balts also had 11 points and Mike Kroeze had 10.

Northwestern is back in action at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Spooner.

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