DULUTH - The North Woods Grizzlies will make their third consecutive run at the Minnesota Class A boys basketball title after winning the Section 7A tournament here Friday night. The Grizzlies easily …
DULUTH - The North Woods Grizzlies will make their third consecutive run at the Minnesota Class A boys basketball title after winning the Section 7A tournament here Friday night. The Grizzlies easily outpaced Lakeview Christian, 78-39.
“We built momentum through the (section) tournament,” said Head Coach Will Kleppe. “The team played with a lot of pressure on them so by the championship we were focused on the game at hand.”
Kleppe added that an early start aided in their victory over Lakeview.
By the end of the first half, the Grizzlies led the Lions, 48-27.
In the second half, the Grizzlies would hold their opponents to just 12 additional points, while scoring 30 more of their own.
Senior guard Cade Goggleye led the way with 31 points along with nine assists and three rebounds. Junior forward Trevor Morrison scored 13 points but added 10 rebounds for a double-double. Freshman guard T.J. Chiabotti added 13 points, while senior guard Chase Kleppe notched his own double-double with 10 points and 17 rebounds.
During last Wednesday’s game against Deer River, it was more of the same for Grizzlies as they took down the Warriors, 61-46.
In this matchup, Chiabotti led the Grizzlies’ charge with 20 points. Kleppe would add another 10 points along with eight rebounds. Senior guard Dylan Chiabotti added 10 more points, while Goggleye had seven points along with nine assists.
The team now turns their gaze to the Westbrook - Walnut Grove Chargers for the opening game of the state tournament. The game was set for Thursday evening at Williams Arena at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus at 5 p.m. and the Timberjay will post game results online at timberjay.com during the course of the tournament.
Kleppe said the team’s strategy will remain the same as they enter state competition.
“It’s one game at a time, expend our energy on defense and play fast,” he said.
Kleppe said his pre-game talks to the team will encourage them to stay focused, but still enjoy the experience.
While Westbrook - Walnut Grove is entering the tournament unseeded, they had an impressive season, with only seven losses. They entered the Section 3A tournament as the third seed and upset first-seeded Southwest Minnesota Christian in the semifinal round and second-seeded Murray County in the quarterfinals before beating fifth-seeded Dawson-Boyd to win the section title.
If the Grizzlies beat the Chargers, they’ll face the winner of the matchup between unseeded Cromwell-Wright and second-seeded Ada-Borup in semi-final action at the Target Center in Minneapolis on Friday. Tipoff for that game is 2 p.m.