PREP BOYS BASKETBALL: Vikings run away from Panthers in first half

Photo by Emily Daniels Minneota’s Thomas Hennen puts up a shot during their game against TMB on Friday. The Vikings defeated the Panthers 74-43.

MINNEOTA – The Minneota boys basketball team jumped out to a big lead against the Tracy-Milroy-Balaton Panthers and never took its foot off the gas pedal, as the Vikings earned a 74-43 victory on Friday night.

Coming off the win, Vikings head coach Dave Busselman saw a lot of strengths on both sides of the court, as well as strong teamwork from his group.

“We looked well offensively but that put a little hat on our defense early on in the game, it got the other team a little out of sync which got us rolling a little bit,” said Busselman. “They had a hard time with the pressure that we gave them early on. That’s what we’re trying to do and that’s what we got out of it. The boys play really well together, they always have and move the ball well and talking on defense helps keep their head in it.”

The speed and hustle shown from the Vikings offense gave them a quick 7-0 lead in the beginning stages over the Panthers. After the Panthers finally got on the board, the Vikings made sure TMB didn’t get into an offensive groove, as Minneota built itself a steady lead in the first half.

TMB had to respond quickly to the fast-paced offense the Vikings were showing and managed to put a couple of shots in, but still found themselves down big as Minneota held a 24-8 lead at one point. The Vikings continued to stay hot on the offensive end, going up by as many as 25 heading into halftime, 42-17.

Despite trailing for the entirety of the first half, the Panthers came into the second frame ready to fight back. TMB’s offense picked up the pace right off the bat, taking every shot opportunity that came their way, but struggled to make the connection with the basket. TMB’s also picked up the intensity a little bit on defense, forcing the Vikings to slow down the pace on both ends of the court. Minneota’s offense shined with the help of Thomas Hennen, who scored 23 points in the night, as they grew their lead at least 20 points at 64-34, with just five minutes left to play.

TMB tried to push the ball down the court throughout the final minutes of the game, but Minneota maintained its ground on defense, stifling the Panthers the rest of the way en route to the 31-point win.

Logan Sussner chipped into the Minneota offense with 15 points while Jacob Hennen added 13 as Minneota shot 9 of 12 at the free-throw line and 29 of 65 from the field on the night. TMB was led by Jett Davis who had 11 points, followed by Michael Munson who had eight points. The Panthers shot 13 of 22 at the free-throw line and 13 of 37 from the floor.

It was a night for TMB to take away the positives and learn from little mistakes made on the court. Coach Rick Haberman took away the positives from the loss against the Vikings, with improvements to be made as the season goes on.

“We look forward to improving everyday we have basketball, whether it’s at practice or a game,” said Haberman. “Minneota is a very good team, and I think that we can become a better team through the process of playing this game.”

The Panthers will be back in action at home against Canby and the Vikings will play away at Yellow Medicine East with both games being played on Tuesday.

Going forward with the season junior Thomas Hennen was impressed with his team’s offensive and defensive efforts but saw room for improvement for future games.

“We want to improve on our defense, keeping the other teams score lower and avoid the unnecessary fouls that we saw tonight,” said Thomas Hennen. “We’ve got to keep working hard and stay unselfish with the ball.”

TMB 17 26-43

Minneota 42 32-74

SCORING: TMB 13-37, 35 percent (Davis 3-4, 5-8 11; Munson 3-6, 0-0 8; Landherr 2-6, 1-3 6; Timmerman 2-6 2-2 6; Dolan 1-6, 2-3 4; Holland 1-1, 1-2 4; Fogelson 0-3, 2-4 2; Nordsiden 1-2, 0-0 2); Minneota 29-65, 45 percent (T. Hennen 9-17, 3-3 23; Sussner 6-10, 3-4 15; J. Hennen 6-10, 0-0 13; Boerboom 3-12, 3-4 12; Josephson 4-8, 0-0 9; Saltzer 1-3, 0-1 2).

3-POINT FGS: TMB 4-16, 25 percent (Munson 2; Holland, Landherr 1); Minneota 7-29, 24 percent (Boerboom 3; T. Hennen 2; Josephson, J. Hennen 1).

REBOUNDS: TMB 26 (Davis 6; Fogelson 5; Landherr 4; Dolan 3); Minneota 28 (T. Hennen 9; Sussner 7; Saltzer, Sorenson 4).

ASSISTS: TMB 7 (Landherr 3; Kunkel, Dolan, Mitchell, Davis 1); Minneota 20 (Josephson, T. Hennen, Saltzer 4; Sussner 3).

STEALS: TMB 3 (Dolan 2; Munson 1); Minneota 4 (J. Hennen 2; T. Hennen, Sussner 1).

BLOCKS: TMB none; Minneota 2 (T. Hennen; Sussner 1).

FOULS: TMB 15; Minneota 16.

TURNOVERS: TMB 28; Minneota 12.