HIBBING – North Woods crushed Bigfork here Thursday in the opening round of the Section 7A playoffs, vaulting to a 30-poiint lead eight minutes into the game and never allowing the Huskies to …
HIBBING – North Woods crushed Bigfork here Thursday in the opening round of the Section 7A playoffs, vaulting to a 30-poiint lead eight minutes into the game and never allowing the Huskies to narrow that gap.
Junior George Bibeau led his team to its 89-48 win, pouring in 27 points and controlling the backboard.
“George showed up to play tonight,” said Grizzlies Head Coach Will Kleppe. “He really dominated inside and did an outstanding job around the basket and on the boards.”
“That George was tough in the paint,” said Huskies Head Coach Chad Lovdahl. “They’re solid. They’re eight, nine men deep and they come at you.”
In addition to Bibeau, five other Grizzlies scored in double digits. Steven Stone finished the night with 15 points, while teammate Cade Goggleye added 11. North Woods got 10 apiece from Darnell Goggley, Collin Janssen and Garett Snidarich.
“The first half we played very well,” said Kleppe. “I thought the boys moved the ball very well and our press was good.”
Darnell Goggleye struggled to get an open shot in the first half with Bigfork focusing on the Grizzlies’ best shooter.
“They put a good defender on him,” Kleppe said. “But when they shut Dar down, he passes the ball so well. That was really a compliment to him. When he wasn’t getting the shots, he was doing a great job of finding other guys and getting assists.”
“They’ve got too many weapons,” conceded Lovdahl. “They play good defense; they really get after you. We got frustrated with it, but we’ve got a young team.”
North Woods (24-2) will square off against Nashwauk-Keewatin (20-6) at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday at the Hibbing Memorial Arena. The Spartans defeated Cherry, 62-44, on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Lovdahl said Bigfork will focus on the next season.
“We had a good season. We improved a lot,” he said. “We just keep working in the summer and come back next year. We’re young and we’ll return a lot of our guys.”