Panthers post first wins of season
It had been a dry spell for the NRHEG Panther boys basketball team over the first month of the season, but it finally got into the winning column by posting two straight victories over the past week.
On Dec. 31, the Panthers handed Lake Crystal-Welcome Memorial 61-50. Lonnie Wilson led the scoring attack for NRHEG with 23 points followed by Blake Ihrke with 14 and Kordell Schlaak added 11.
Panther coach Isaiah Lundberg noted his team jumped out to a 15-4 lead to start the game. “I was really happy with how we started the game,” he said. “I thought our defense was good and on offense we got some good looks that we missed or our lead could have been bigger.”
Lundberg said the first half was one of the first times this season that the Panthers got out and got some easy baskets because of “our defense and getting some rebounds or steals and being able to turn that into quick scores.”
During the game, Lake Crystal switched to zone defense, and Coach Lundberg thought his Panthers got a little lax against it.
In the second half, NRHEG pushed the lead up to 13 at one time, but Lake Crystal came back and closed the gap to four with only a few minutes left. Lundberg said at one time the Panthers were 8-18 at the free throw line, which was letting Lake Crystal get back into the game. But, he added, in the last four minutes of the game the Panthers held them scoreless and made 9-10 at the free throw line to finish the game.
“I thought Lonnie Wilson really stepped up for us in the second half scoring and his defense,” Lundberg said. “When we needed a basket he got one or got a steal or rebound.”
Panthers crush Tri City
On Friday, NRHEG crushed Tri City United 61-41 to post its second straight win of the week.
Schlaak led the Panthers’ scoring attack with 18 points followed by Wilson with 10. Porter Peterson and Jack Olson each added six points for NRHEG.
“I though throughout the whole game we played with good energy and played hard,” Lundberg said. “After winning our first game on Tuesday, I though we played with more confidence and looked more relaxed,” he added.
Lundberg credited his team for doing a good job of attacking Tri City’s zone that it played for the majority of the game.
The coach said the defense was the best part of NRHEG’s game. “We did a good job of taking things away for them and forcing them into tough shots,” Lundberg said.
The Panthers (2-9) travel to Faribault Bethlehem Academy Friday night.