Eagles set tone early in lopsided victory over Hornets
By Jacob Heid
ALMOND — Almond Bancroft’s basketball teams as a whole are now a combined 8-0 to start the year. The boys played host to Rosholt on Dec. 6, setting the tone early on both sides of the floor. The Eagles dominated from tip to finish, winning 70-18.
Head coach Curt Lamb talked after the game about the team’s consistent effort defensively but saw the offense being the tone-setter in the win.
“Defensively, we’ve been pretty solid all year. We’ve played more zone in the last two years than probably the last 20 years combined. This group plays it really well,” Lamb stated. “The defensive end kind of sets the tone, but I thought tonight, that first possession, we came out and moved the ball five or six times, didn’t touch the floor, and ended up getting a layup. I think that kind of set the tone for the night.”
The Eagles opened the game on a 16-0 run, pressuring Rosholt in a 1-2-2 zone. Sophomore TJ Lamb was a beneficiary of the press, poking away a few steals, leading to transition layups. The Hornets finally lit up the scoreboard with a Ty Gruna three, but the offense was uneven for most of the night.
Almond-Bancroft had the upper hand physically in the post, which opened lanes for shooters. Sophomore Ayden Phillips, who finished with 22 points, gave the Eagles multiple second-chance opportunities, allowing the Eagles to get hot from deep. Senior Xander Miner stepped into the post role when Phillips was resting. After an Eagles timeout halfway through the first half, Lamb hit three straight triples to make it a 38-8 ball game. Lamb had 15 of his 20 points in the first half. Rosholt just wasn’t able to keep up. The Hornets trailed 44-9 at the break.
Head coach Lamb talked about the unselfishness of his players.
“We run through Ayden, obviously,” coach Lamb said. “They (the players) look for each other, and we talked about sharing the ball. Tonight, I thought we did a great job of coming out and doing that.”
He finished by talking about Lamb at the point guard position and how his pass-first mentality opens the door for his teammates.
The second half was much of the same, with less scoring by the Eagles. Rosholt still had trouble knocking down shots offensively, getting held to nine points again in the second half.
Both teams get tough matchups in their next game. Almond-Bancroft 4-0 (1-0) travels to Port Edwards 3-1 (1-0) on Friday, while Rosholt 1-2 (0-1) hosts Pacelli 2-1 (1-0).