It might have been Bluejacket John Troolin’s birthday, but it was the junior basketball player who gave out the biggest present in the form of a three-point shot with just three seconds remaining to give Cambridge-Isanti an 81-79 win over Elk River.
For most of the game, which was originally supposed to be played two weeks prior but had been postponed due to the Elks’ football team playing in the Prep Bowl, C-I maintained a solid lead, including a 45-37 lead at halftime. In the second half, however, the visiting Elks chipped away at the lead, until eventually, the two teams exchanged one or two-point leads late in the game.
Elk River appeared to steal away the victory on a basket with 10 seconds remaining. The Jackets, however, made a quick inbounds pass to Elias Dee, who dribbled to the top of the circle and passed to an open Troolin in the corner. Troolin’s jumper from beyond the arc swished through the basket, handing the Jackets the final lead change of the game. A final, buzzer-beating half-court shot from Elk River after a timeout fell short to make the win official.
For the game, Kobe Karls finished with 28 points, with Troolin ending with 15 points and Keagen Shrider adding 12.
North Branch’s lone game of the week was less thrilling, but still satisfying as the Vikings topped Simley 66-46. The Vikings had four players reach double-digits, led by Tyler Minke’s 17 points and Carson Klein’s 15 points. Brody Beaver added 11 points and Noah Thorsen finished with 10.
With only eight players on their varsity lineup, the Vikings are constantly having to overcome potential foul trouble and injuries. Last week, they successfully overcame those obstacles in topping visiting Rush City 51-49. Ella Kuhlman lead the team with 18 points and 12 rebounds for a double-double. Chloe Lattimore added 11 points in the win.
One night later, those shortcomings, plus going up against last season’s section champion in Grand Rapids, resulted in a 72-29 loss to the Thunderhawks. In that game, Kuhlman scored 20 of NB’s 29 points.
Cambridge-Isanti improved their season record to 4-1 last week with a close, come from behind, 64-61 win over Sartell-St. Stephen. After trailing 32-26 at halftime, the Jackets outscored the Sabres 38-29 in the second half. Maraya Wiltrout was once again the team’s leading scorer, finishing with 21 points. Croix Vavra added 13 points and Haylie Jerde contributed 11.
Saturday night’s C-I game against Princeton wasn’t for the Rusty Skates Trophy, but plenty was still at stake for the conference and section rivals. Ultimately, it was the Jackets who came out on top, winning 7-4. The Jackets secured a 2-0 lead after one period, but Princeton outscored the Jackets 3-1in the second period, resulting in a 3-3 tie heading into the third and eventually a 4-3 lead in the third. However, four unanswered goals by the visiting Jackets, including two empty-netters, would give the win to C-I.
Wyatt Nutt scored two of C-I’s seven goals, with the remaining goals being spread out between five skaters.
The Jackets competed in the mega Christmas Individual Tournament in Rochester over the weekend, with two grapplers placing in the top ten in their weight. Leo Edblad finished in fourth place and Treytin Byers took 10th.
Northern Tier suffered one lopsided loss and wound up in a tie last week. The loass was 9-1 to Dodge County. The tie was against Buffalo/Maple Lake by a score of 3-3. Against the Bison, the Stars jumped out to a 3-0 lead midway through the second period only to have Buffalo score three unanswered goals. Buffalo actually dominated play, firing 63 shots at goalie Mackenzie Baumgardt.
BOYS SWIMMING AND DIVING
The Jackets were unable to secure an event first-place until Monticello swam the last three events as exhibition only. Christopher Williams (50 freestyle) and Joseph Larkin (500 freestyle) were the top finishers for C-I, coming in second place in those events.