Northern Tier girls hockey
The Northern Tier Stars (comprising of a co-op between North Branch, Cambridge-Isanti, and St. Francis), are making the most out of their inaugural season, going undefeated through the first four games, outscoring their opponents 17-4 in the process. Last week, the Stars doubled their wins with a 4-1 victory over St. Paul/Henry Sibley and a 5-0 shutout of Princeton/Big Lake/Becker.
The Stars have shown their offensive depth as in the two games, six different players scored at least once. Jenna Kurkowski led the way, scoring once against Henry Sibley and twice against Princeton. Abygail Spitzer was the only other multi-goal scorer, picking up one in each game.
While coming up short in the final team score, and in fact scoring lower than their previous meet, the Vikings had a very satisfying meet against host Cambridge-Isanti last week. The final team score was 137.0 - 129.225 in favor of the Bluejackets.
Dakota Esget had a good meet, earning second on vault with a 9.2, and earning the top score for North Branch on the bars with an 8.475. Paige Bauer added a second place finish on beam with an 8.65, along with taking second in the all-around with a 34.175. Bauer also tied Bekah Fish for the Vikings’ top floor score with an 8.725.
The Vikings earned their first win of the season last week, picking up a 43-41 victory over Monticello. Kate Carlson had an outstanding game, scoring 22, including the game-winning basket with just four seconds remaining. Chloe Lattimore also broke double-digits, scoring 10 points.
Unfortunately, the Vikings couldn’t maintain that momentum three nights later, losing to Big Lake 66-36. Carlson had another excellent game, scoring 20 points and picking up 11 rebounds. Ella Kuhlman matched her point total against Chisago Lakes, scoring nine.
In their only action of the week, the Vikings took their first loss of the season, falling to Morris-Benson 7-5.
The first period was filled with goals galore as both teams found the back of the net three times. The Vikings controlled play in the second period, but it didn’t show up on the scoreboard as the Storm added three more goals to North Branch’s one. Both teams scored once early in the third period, but that was the end of the goals, making the 7-5 final.
Tucker Sachs scored twice for the Vikings, with Loghan Croal, Lawton Garin, and Jordan Axberg also adding goals for North Branch, who outshot the Storm 60-27.
The Vikings were on the wrong end of a pair of “close, but no cigar” games last week, falling to Monticello 82-78 and Big Lake 88-86.
Against the Magic, North Branch got off flat, falling behind by 20 points in the first half before rallying to within three points in the second half. But that was as close as they could make it in the defeat. Adam Rehm had a huge game, scoring 34 points to lead the team. Trevor Johnson added 19 points and 11 rebounds for a double-double.
The game against Big Lake was a repeat of the previous game, with North Branch again falling behind in the first half, only to have a rally fall just short in the second half. Rehm and Johnson both had 23 points in the game, with Logan Murphy adding 18 and Carson Klein picking up 13.
So far this season, the Vikings have lost four conference games by a total of 15 points.
The Vikings were supposed to compete in triangulars at Mounds View and Pine City last week, but the team had to pull out of both of them. As of the writing of this article, the Vikings’ matches at Cambridge-Isanti on Thursday and at home on Friday of this week are still on. Both of those triangulars begin at 5 p.m.