Tigers top Spartans in intense battleWhile the New Richmond boys basketball team is still trying to elevate its offensive play, the Tigers have found they can rely heavily on their play in the defensive end of the court.
By: Dave Newman, New Richmond News
While the New Richmond boys basketball team is still trying to elevate its offensive play, the Tigers have found they can rely heavily on their play in the defensive end of the court.
The Tigers scored a pair of Middle Border Conference wins last week, over Somerset and Durand. In both instances, it was the Tigers’ defensive play that carried them to the victory.
In Friday’s 55-45 win at Somerset, the Tigers found they play effective defense against an opponent’s best scorers.
The Tigers were effective in limiting Somerset’s main threats, seniors David Moulton and Bryan Witzmann, to a combined 20 points.
“John Peper did an unbelievable job on Moulton,” said Tiger coach Rick Montreal.
The Tiger post players, led by Michael Jansen, also put up a good battle against the 6 foot, 8 inch Witzmann. Witzmann had a larger effect in the defensive end, where his size caused the Tigers to alter a number of their shots. The Tigers missed many shots from close range as they tried to avoid getting their shots blocked.
This game featured excellent intensity from both teams. There were more than 50 turnovers in the game as both teams put on heavy pressure around the perimeter.
The Tigers took the lead midway through the first quarter with a 7-0 run. They finished the quarter with a 12-7 lead. Somerset was able to get within three points early in the second quarter. The Tigers then went on a 14-2 run. From that point on, Somerset was never able to get closer than eight points.
Offensively, the Tigers showed good balance. Derek Sabby led the team with 10 points, followed by Lance Bauer with nine points and Darren O’Flanagan with eight points. Jared Kidder led the Tiger reserves by scoring seven points.
Win over Durand
Last Tuesday the Tigers dealt with a sometimes chippy Durand team, beating the Panthers by a 64-47 score.
The Tigers built a nearly double-digit lead in the first quarter and maintained a solid cushion during the game. Durand tried to play an aggressive style and losing didn’t seem to set well with the Panthers.
Excellent ball movement got the Tiger offense clicking early in this game. With sharp passes the Tigers were able to get close-range shots on nearly every possession. Sabby benefitted early, scoring 12 of his 25 points in the first quarter.
“We moved the ball really well,” Montreal said. “With Durand it’s tough to stay patient. Their style creates chaos.”
In addition to the 25 points from Sabby, Bauer finished with 14 points and Jansen scored eight points.
The Tigers were scheduled to play a non-conference game at home this Tuesday against Rice Lake. The Tigers then have a break before playing another Big Rivers Conference opponent. That game will come on Jan. 2, when the Tigers play at Menomonie.