Vikings control paint to rout Red Devils
CHARLO — Burn me once, shame on you. Burn me twice, shame on me.
After being torched by the outside shot in a loss to the Red Devils in Noxon, the Vikings were determined to guard the 3-point line and let the Red Devils do all their damage inside — an area of the court the Vikings completely dominated.
The Viking trio of big men combined for 34 points and 31 rebounds, 14 of which were offensive, in a 53-38 avenging victory at home Saturday night. Viking senior Chance Rosenbaum led the Vikings’ supremacy in the paint, finishing with 17 points and 10 rebounds with half of them coming off the offensive glass. Viking center Houston Blevins finished with 12 points, seven defensive rebounds and five offensive rebounds. Chance Frame completed the Vikings’ dominion of the key, adding five points and pulling down nine rebounds to help the Vikings (7-5, 4-2) move within a game of Noxon for the second seed at the District 14-C tournament.
“We were real aggressive on defense and not fouling. We knew we had to take care of the 3-point line, because we thought we had an advantage inside. Which we did — we dominated the rebound battle and took it from there,” Charlo coach Mike Brown said. “We definitely pounded it inside...Chance (Rosenbaum) was a monster, he went to work and they didn’t have an answer for Houston.”
The Vikings finished with 50 rebounds and limited the Red Devils to only four 3-pointers.
“That’s what got us in the first game. They got wide open looks because we were out of position on defense,” Brown said of the Red Devils’ accurate shooting from outside in the first game.
Red Devil Jordan Eichert came off the bench and led Noxon’s deadly shooting from long range in the December game, finishing with 18 points and four 3-pointers, including one in the final seconds to clinch the 53-51 Noxon victory. In the starting lineup Saturday night, Eichert didn’t connect on a trey and finished with only three points, with his first field goal not coming until the fourth quarter, when the game was out of reach.
The game was really out of reach after the first quarter. The Vikings set the tone early, holding the Red Devils to only three points in the first quarter as they rattled off 13.
“The boys came out with a lot of fire and intensity and we just took it from there,” Brown said, adding that the 15-point victory doesn’t reflect on how dominant the Vikings were.
The Viking big men were helped by guard Chance Firestone, who after injuring his ankle in the season opener and sitting out the first month is just now starting to find his groove. The senior finished with 11 points and seven assists. It was the third game in a row that Firestone finished in double figures in scoring.
“(Firestone) is starting to be the senior leader and the floor general that we’ve been missing,” Brown said.
Dillon Delaney came off the bench and contributed to the victory by knocking down two 3-pointers in the first half and finishing with eight points.
After giving up 24 turnovers in a 45-42 loss to the third-ranked Horsemen at home Tuesday, the Vikings made sure to take care of the ball against Noxon and only committed 12 turnovers.
Against Plains Tuesday, the Vikings led 27-24 at halftime, but committed 15 of their 24 turnovers in the third quarter and went into the final frame trailing 35-33.
“We had them on the ropes, and then we come out in the third and we start turning the ball over,” Brown said.
Blevins did a good job in containing the Horsemen’s leading scorer Trent Thompson to only 12 points, while adding 10 of his own. Firestone led the Vikings with 12 points and Delaney pitched in with nine.
The Vikings have two conference games on the road this weekend. They play Two Eagle River Friday and Hot Springs Saturday.
Plains 45, Charlo 42
Plains 15 9 11 10–45
Charlo 14 13 6 9–42
PLAINS - Trent Thompson 12, Brian Green 14, Kyle Hermiston 5, Carson Lilja 4, Dillon Fryxell 2, Bryce Benson 6, Tanner Ostrom 2.
CHARLO - Dillon Delaney 9, Chico Stipe 1, Chance Firestone 12, Chance Rosenbaum 7, Houston Blevins 10, Chance Frame 3.
Charlo 53, Noxon 38
Noxon 3 10 14 11–38
Charlo 13 16 13 11–53
NOXON - Banks Stocking 10, Chris Herbig 6, Jordan Eichert 3, Eric Stevenson 8, Tyrell Wilkinson 5, Travis Tammaro 3, Jesse Linderman 3.
CHARLO - Chance Firestone 11, Chance Rosenbaum 17, Houston Blevins 12, Chance Frame 5, Dillon Delaney 8.