Casselton, ND – This one was all Squirrels all the way. CC got up early, put the pedal to the floor, and cruised to a comfortable win on New Year’s Eve. LLM made a nice little run toward the end…
Casselton, ND – This one was all Squirrels all the way. CC got up early, put the pedal to the floor, and cruised to a comfortable win on New Year’s Eve. LLM made a nice little run toward the end of the 3rd and early in the 4th, but the game was already out of reach.
The Loboes showed grit and toughness. LLM was playing an hour and a half away from home against the #2 ranked team and they were down double digits on the last day of 2022. It would have been easy to lay down and get the game over with. What did the Loboes do? They fought back, played hard, hit some nice shots, and battled with the Squirrels. LLM is going to have a nice record by the time the playoffs get here. The Loboes will likely be a top 4 team in Region 3 this season. This is not the last you have heard of the Loboes!
I was really impressed with the Squirrels pace and tempo. They pushed it hard and fast, but they are clever about it. On offense, CC moves the ball, cuts hard, and they never seem to get stagnant. The Squirrels have a balanced team with 3 DUDES (Kobbervig, Vrchota, Holzer) and many role players that can hit shots, make athletic plays, and do the little things. I thought the Squirrels defense was solid as well. They picked up fullcourt, trapped, jumped, and applied pressure. I liked how they were smart about it, they did not gamble like crazy or fly around just for the sake of playing fast. They applied pressure, sped up LLM, but also kept the Loboes away from the hoop. Central Cass showed why they are ranked #2 in State Polls. Coach Norman has the Squirrels play admirably at this point in the season.
We chatted w/ coach Matt Norman after the game and we fired some questions his way….
PHD: It looks like you have an unselfish team, how do you establish that with your players?
Coach Norman: “I can’t take credit for their unselfishness, but we preach that it’s always about being a part of something bigger than themselves as an individual. Team victories are fun to celebrate and tougher to guard.“
PHD: Any unsung heroes from the game you want to praise?
Coach Norman: “Owen Wiersma– he has become our “Swiss army knife” of sorts. Playing a number of spots without our defense and doing it with unquestioned effort.”
“– he is continuing to grow as a player and a block defender for us. His charge today was huge and something we value greatly.“
PHD: Is there anything in particular, you want to work on before your next game?
Coach Norman: “We have to continue to clean up our offense and make sure the ball doesn’t lag. Continuing to trust that the ball will make it back to the players it should. Proud of these kids and where they’re at, but striving for growth and keeping them hungry is key.“
1Q: CC 14 LLM 8
2Q: CC 34 LLM 12
3Q: CC 51 LLM 29
4Q: CC 61 LLM 44
3’s Made: CC 7 LLM 6
FT’s: CC 6/8 LLM 2/10
(2023) |5’8 G|
10 points, 2 triples. Mart scored from every level in this one. He drilled an inside-out 3-pointer, hit a pull-up jumper, and slashed to the rim for buckets. Tate is an energetic guard with hasty quickness and speed.
(2024) |6’4 G|
8 points. Musland did not put up huge numbers but I know that he has that capability. I imagine that CC was focused on limiting him. Max did a little bit of everything in this game. He blocked multiple shots, picked off passes, and scored at the rim. Musland is a long guard and his wingspan is expansive.
(2023) |6’1 G|
3 points, 1-4 FT’s. He is a strong and well-put-together athlete. Ness looked good when attacking the basket, he is not afraid of contact, and this resulted in him getting to the line. He showed impressive hustle on defense and this resulted in a transition steal. He had a timely bucket at the end of the 3rd quarter to get a score before the buzzer sounded. Colton’s best play was likely when he showed off his footwork and pivots. He had used up his dribble and was in the middle of the lane. Ness pivoted, created space, stepped through the defender, and finished with a scoop shot. That was a veteran move.
Anthony Hanson (2023) |6’2 F|
8 points. He stuck out to me as a physical player. Hanson did his work on offense by attacking off the bounce or cutting to the basket. Anthony scored with a 1-handed jumper, a scoop shot, and a finger roll. I was impressed with how Hanson was able to create space when going up for a shot. On defense, Anthony plays hard and he blocked a shot in the 4th quarter. Hanson provides the Loboes with interior toughness.
Blase Isaacson (2024) |5’8 G|
5 points, 1 triple. He showed some potential off the bench. Blase scored off the bounce, he got in amongst the trees and still finished. He also cashed in a triple.
(2025) |6’2 F|
6 points, 2 triples. He looks to be an up-an-comer. Karlgaard has potential as a catch-n-shoot threat from beyond the arc.
Central Cass Squirrels
(2024) |6’1 G|
10 points, 2/2 FT’s. He scored in transition, when slashing downhill, and when cutting to the hole. Vrchota runs the floor well and he finished with a sweet lefty reverse layup. Carter threw a beautiful lob pass to Holzer in the post for a score. He didn’t have huge numbers tonight, but CC did not need him to score a bunch in this one. Carter is skilled, smart, and a gamer.
(2023) |6’2 G|
12 points, 4 triples. He has been shooting it hot as of late. Sam had 5 triples on Thursday night and now 4 in this one. I really like his balance and shooting mechanics. Kobbervig looks self-assured from beyond the arc and he is playing with some swagger. He showed off his extended shooting range with a deep 3 in the first half. Teams are going to have to chase him around the arc for the rest of the season and this is going to open up more driving lanes for the Squirrels.
(2023) |6’0 G|
4 points. He was productive on the offensive glass. Mason made hustle plays and he gave extra effort. He showed excellent vision when attacking and delivering a sharp pass to a cutting teammate.
(2024) |6’7 F|
17 points, 4/6 FT’s. I have not heard yet how many rebounds the big lefty had, but it must have been close to double digits. Cole had multiple O-boards. He scored with both hands at the rim. Holzer moves well without the ball and he can slash for good looks. His long arms allow him to finish over and around defenders. Cole’s shooting mechanics look textbook. I loved when the defense fronted him, Cole walked him out, created space, caught the lob pass, and finished with craftiness at the cup. Holzer is one heck of a tough matchup because of his length and skill.
(2024) |6’2 G|
5 points, 1 triple. He hit his triple early in the first quarter from the left corner. Buhr has a smooth stroke. His other bucket came via an O-board putback. He did not take a charge, but he attempted one and sacrificed his body for the team. I imagine that coach Norman loved the effort.
Owen Wiersma (2023) |6’2 G|
3 pts, 1-2 FT’s. He gave up his body and took a charge for the Squirrels. I love his hustle and effort. Wiersma is an active player on both ends of the floor. With his size and strength, Owen provides versatility on the defensive end.
(2025) |6’2 G|
5 points, 1 triple. He did his scoring in the first half. I like the looks of this youngster. Thompson cashed in a triple and he scored off a sharp cut from the back side of the defense.