1/16/2014 4:09:00 PM North Branch upsets Big Lake 76-73
by JEFF NORTON
North Branch 76, Big Lake 73 North Branch boys basketball quickly earned their first Mississippi 8 Conference win last week when they hosted the Big Lake Hornets. The two teams duked it out all game in a contest that didn’t feature much defense. The Hornets led 41-40 at halftime despite a strong offensive output from Dylan Dahle and Travis VanElsberg. In the second half, the Vikings kept the pressure on Big Lake and took the lead midway through. The game stayed tight the rest of the way, but North Branch held on for a 76-73 victory.
The win was big for North Branch since Big Lake was just cracking into the Class AAA rankings with a 10-3 record. It was a significant notch under the belt for the boys and a confidence booster for their season as it moves forward.
Dahle led the Vikings with 20 points while VanElbserg dropped in 19. Matt Blomquist added 11 points and Concordia (NE) signee Dillon Harms had 10 points The Vikings lost to Monticello 62-44 earlier this week, but will host Highway 95 rival Cambridge-Isanti on Thursday, Jan. 16. The game will feature the return of longtime North Branch Head Coach Bill Baumann, who is an assistant for the Bluejackets. The game will tip off at 8 p.m. as the second half in a girls-boys doubleheader. For a full recap of the games, check out next week’s Chisago County Press.