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Vikings win 52-26 over Thunder Bay Timberwolves

Brian Larsen


Above: In a recent home game, senior forward Shauna Blake looks to make a nice pass as she dribbles towards the basket. Right: As always, Viking players stand at attention for the National Anthem before every game. 
Staff photo/Laurie Johnson Above: In a recent home game, senior forward Shauna Blake looks to make a nice pass as she dribbles towards the basket. Right: As always, Viking players stand at attention for the National Anthem before every game. Staff photo/Laurie Johnson With five minutes gone and the score tied at 3-3, the Vikings’ game against the Thunder Bay Timberwolves on Saturday, January 2 seemed destined to remain a defensive battle as each team found it hard to get good looks at the basket. And when either team managed to get a good shot, the rim seemed like a magnet, attracting and rejecting the ball, resulting in a struggle for a rebound. Another in a long line of shots, it seemed then, to be missed.

But the Vikings turned the game around with their pressure defense that saw two Vikings corral the T-Wolves ball handler when the ball went across half court. This resulted in some steals and easy baskets. Viking guards began finding Cook County’s center Emily Jacobsen underneath the hoop and Jacobsen converted nice passes into layups or used her sweet hook-shot to put up points for her team. Once the defense clicked, the Vikings never looked back.

By halftime the Vikings led 26-12. They came out strong in the second half with two quick baskets, one by Jacobsen and one by Lily Gruber-Schulz. The lead was never in doubt and Thunder Bay’s best rally was a stretch where they scored six straight points, but the Vikings were up by 22 at that point. Even though Head Coach Kelly Senty was rotating in her bench players, the Vikings were too good on this night to lose this game.

In Thunder Bay’s defense, this was only their second game as a team to play together. The high school girls’ basketball season is over in Canada, and the Timberwolves are a traveling team made up of students from area schools that want to continue playing. The Timberwolves also lack height and live by shooting the 3-ball, and as they say, you live by the three point shot or you die by the three point shot.

On this night, Thunder Bay players hit precious few threes, although they attempted more than 20 shots from behind the arc. A hand in the shooters’ face caused part of those misses, and some were open looks that just didn’t fall.

Coach Kelly Senty said the Vikings turned the ball over five times in the first half, but 15 times in the second half. “Everyone got to play in the second half which is great overall experience for our girls coming off the bench,” said Senty. “The second half the emphasis was working on our transaction basketball, which we will be working on this week in practice.”

Emily Jacobsen led the team in scoring with 14 points. Lily Gruber-Schulz who had 13 points and Sophie Eliasen who netted 12 points followed her. Eliasen hit a couple of long threes, and continues to get better at shooting the long ball.

The Vikings’ next home game is against Cherry on Tuesday, January 12. The game starts at 6:30 p.m. Come out and cheer for your Vikings!


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