"I am very happy with how the team is progressing," CEC coach Al Denman said. "Overall, this team is very competitive for their age. I feel they are ahead of the game in their development, which will be seen in the next two years as they start to dominate."
The 'Jacks got a chance Saturday, Jan. 6, to find out where they are competitively with some of the best teams in the area when they participated in the Superior Spartan Wrestling Classic.
"Both teams wanted to pick up full court defensively and play uptempo offensively," Cards coach Bill Pocernich said. "Both teams committed a lot of fouls, which disrupted the flow and the preferred lineups for both teams, but overall, it was a fun game." Wrenshall coach Jon Bartczak said the Cromwell gymnasium is "always a tough place to play."
"The game flow was up and down, but there were more turnovers than I would like for our team," Cloquet coach Heather Young said. "It is OK to take chances, but some of the chances we took were careless. We did do a pretty good job of holding Hermantown in check, I felt, defensively, and we were able to capitalize at times on their turnovers."
"We were playing good basketball in the first half, with not too many turnovers," FDL coach Earl Otis said. "We played good defense in the first half as well."
Junior Adam Dragicevich has made himself into a player for us. Sophomore Michael Olson is another kid who worked his tail off this summer and it paid off for him as he worked his way into a starting gig, but unfortunately, he ruptured his Achilles tendon in our second game and will miss the rest of the season."
"The kids don't need a lot of motivating to get ready for Wrenshall," Carlton coach Andrew Weber said. "It is a great rivalry among the two teams. We came out and pressured them and then we took advantage of some transition baskets." The Bulldogs came out with a press that eventually pushed them to a 33-10 halftime lead, with many points coming off turnovers.
While the Bulldogs were enjoying a lead at half, the Rebels coaches were scheming for ways to tame the Carlton offense and get more of the same from their own squad.
"The play is at a higher level than most people anticipate. Most of the guys have experience beyond high school so the level of play is higher than what a lot of fans remember."
"I think both teams focused on getting our post players involved in the offense early and to get each of them a lot of touches," Esko coach Scott Antonutti said. "It was a somewhat typical first game, I think. Both teams missed some shots that they would like to 'do over' and there was a substantial number of unforced turnovers."