Jacks cage Blackhawks at home
The Ladysmith Lumberjacks split a pair of games last week in Heart O’ North Conference play as they were on the road Thursday in St. Croix Falls and home Saturday night to host the Bloomer Blackhawks.
On Thursday, the Jacks got off to a rough start, but bounced back in the second half outscoring the Saints 42-25 to fall by nine points in a 60-51 victory by the Saints. Tuesday night could be summed up as a tale of two halves. We didn’t have much energy or flow on either end of the floor digging ourselves a 35-9 halftime deficit. The second half we came out and moved the ball better and picked up our defensive intensity a great deal. We scored 41 points and allowed 25 on the defensive end. The 25 second-half points given up on defense is a little misleading because we were fouling to stop the clock at the end of the game, so we gave up about 8 points in the last minute. We cut the deficit to 7 but could never get any closer. Our issues in this game were too many turnovers in the first half and not finishing our lay-ups. We were proud that the boys didn’t pack it in and come out and played a great second half,’ stated head coach, Brian Rogers.
Brady Ingersol led the way for the Jacks with 29 points and seven rebounds. Mitchell Lehman went on t score nine points, grabbed five rebounds and had four assists. Brandon Walters went on to finish with seven points in the Jack’s road loss in St. Croix Falls.
On Saturday night, the Jacks played host to the always tough Bloomer Blackhawks, who finally got to take the court for the first time this season due to COVID.
Ladysmith grabbed the lead heading into the locker room at half-time as they led 28-26 at the break.
In the second half the Jacks kept up their consistent play as they out scored Bloomer 33-28 as they came away with the seven point victory over the Blackhawks by a score of 61-54. “Bloomer was a game that we wanted to put two halves together and come out with a defensive mind set. We’re focusing on being more aggressive on defense and not giving up so many offensive rebounds. Every night, with the exception of one game, we’ve played 5 opponents who are bigger, faster, and stronger than we are. So we have been drilling being physical with rebounding. We’ve been giving up double digits in offensive rebounds, but tonight we gave up 9. That’s still a few too many. When we’re playing zone and teams are taking a large amount of threes, it leads to longer rebounds, so we have to continue to work to get better at this. The second half we started pulling away from Bloomer building a 15 point lead at 54-39. They went on a 12-0 run cutting the lead to 54-52. We stopped looking to score and got too passive with our entries and our offensive attack. Thankfully, we were able to make some big free throws in the last few minutes to build the lead back up for a 61-54 victory. The boys kept their composure with a few redirecting time-outs and were able to execute some game plan changes that helped us seal the win,” coach Rogers concluded.
The next few weeks our schedule is going to start happening fast and furious. We have 6 games the next two weeks, so we’re going to focus on continuing to get better on both ends of the floor. We’re building good chemistry with the seven kids that are in our rotation, but we still need to impose more of a defensive mentality not allowing teams to get the ball in the lane and finishing possessions.
Four Lumberjacks went on to score in double digits as Ingersol had 18 points to lead the way. Eli Rogers and Lehman both finished with 13 points as Brandon Walters had 11 points on the night in the big win at home.
Ladysmith is currently 4-3 on the season as they will be taking on Bloomer this Friday at home then be on the road Monday to take on Cameron before returning home to host the Phillip Loggers on Tuesday in what is the start of a busy seven games in 14 days.