FDL Ogichidaa outruns Spartans 86-62Watching seventh-grader Bruce Martineau play basketball Tuesday was a revelation for Coach Ken Fox.
By: Tyler Korby, Pine Journal
Watching seventh-grader Bruce Martineau play basketball Tuesday was a revelation for Coach Ken Fox.
After placing the speedster into his Fond du Lac Ojibwe boys basketball lineup, Fox witnessed Martineau play a sparkplug role in the Ogichidaa’s thrilling 86-62 home-opening victory over Nashwauk-Keewatin Tuesday night.
“I really can’t explain it, you had to see it,” said Fox. “It was just unbelievable. He was just flying around and making plays. And for a seventh-grader to come in and do that off the bench, it was like instant offense.”
Martineau finished the game with 11 points off the pine, as a kid too young for a
driver’s license finished 5-for-8 from the free-throw line and tallied a plethora of steals, creating big plays to carry the momentum
“He even got the crowd into it,” said Fox, laughing. “He reminded me of the old Vinnie Johnson of the Detroit Pistons, just running around and hustling after everything. It was great to watch.”
Martineau’s early defensive gems allowed the Ogichidaa to get their offense in motion. The visiting Spartans hit the first shot of the game, a three-pointer. After that, they never had the lead again.
FDL gained a 38-23 halftime advantage and rolled from there.
“It was a nice win for us,” said Fox. “They beat us up there last year, so it was nice to get one back this year. It was a good home start for us and a good win for these boys.”
The Ogichidaa (1-1) opened their season last Saturday against defending Class A state champion Minnesota Transitions Charter School, a game in which missed free throws and turnovers led to a lopsided 110-33 defeat.
Fox said his boys cleaned those things up Tuesday.
“We were a little confused down there, but we got things ironed out and it showed tonight,” said the longtime FDL girls basketball coach, now in his first year with the boys. “We played excellent tonight.”
Pacing the Ogichidaa in the points department was senior Travis Brown, as the 6-foot-4 senior forward manhandled the paint en route to racking up 27 points. His younger cousin Trevor, the team’s point guard, followed with 19 points, including five 3-pointers.
“Travis controlled the game,” said Fox of their go-to scorer inside. “He worked it in, but then he kicked it out for our perimeter shooters to get some open looks. He got the ball to Trevor and he knocked them down.”
Scoring is something the Ogichidaa have become accustomed to lately, as their mix of size and speed makes it difficult for teams to defend them. But Fox said it’s his team’s defense that really gets them off and running.
“Our defense was key tonight; it got our offense going,” he said. “We got boards, got in transition, and worked the ball around well and scored. It was just an excellent game for us tonight. I was very pleased.”
Adding to Martineau and the Browns’ scoring efforts, junior Lee St. John poured in 13 points, while senior Dewey Dupuis added 10 as fellow senior Scott Abramowski controlled the glass, leading the team in rebounding.
FDL will be in action Friday when they welcome Four Directions School of Minneapolis. The Ogichidaa girls will start at 5:45 p.m. and the boys at 7:15.