CLOQUET— The Grizzlies had to come from behind to beat Fond Du Lac 90-77 on Tuesday in a tough and very physical contest. Sophomore guard TJ Chiabotti had a huge night as he sparked the North …
CLOQUET— The Grizzlies had to come from behind to beat Fond Du Lac 90-77 on Tuesday in a tough and very physical contest. Sophomore guard TJ Chiabotti had a huge night as he sparked the North Woods rally, pouring in 39, including eight treys.
“This was the most physical game we’ve played to date,” said North Woods Head Coach Will Kleppe. “It was a good test for our younger players to play in a game that rough. While we struggled to score early, TJ eventually caught fire. It was good to see our guys overcome some of the frustrations early and find a way to get the job done.”
Fond Du Lac held the lead through much of the first half and went into the break up 38-36. But the Grizzlies dominated the second half, outscoring Fond Du Lac 54-39 in the stanza.
While TJ Chiabotti led scoring for the Grizzlies, he had help from freshman Jared Chiabotti, who added 18 points, while senior Trevor Morrison added 12.
Against Mt. Iron-Buhl last Friday, it was Morrison who led the charge, as he scored 35 points to help the Grizzlies outpace the Rangers 92-56. North Woods more than doubled the Rangers in the first half and took a 56-24 lead into the break, allowing Coach Kleppe to give plenty of time on the court to younger players in the second half.
“We played a good game defensively as a team,” said Kleppe. “Jared Chiabotti and Alex Hartway did a very good job limiting their scorers and as a team we controlled the boards.”
The Grizzlies’ offense made its mark as well, working the gaps in the Rangers’ defense to score most of their points from inside the paint. They helped themselves with a 56-percent field goal percentage compared to just 32 percent for the Rangers. The Grizzlies’ defense kept the Rangers working from the margins, allowing MI-B just 16 points from inside three-point range.
The Rangers connected on 12 of 47 three-point shots, but they couldn’t keep pace with the Grizzlies’ consistent offensive attack. The Grizzlies also helped themselves from the charity stripe, connecting on 12 of 15 shots, compared to just four of ten for the Rangers.
North Woods dominated the boards as well, grabbing 56 rebounds compared to just 21 for MI-B.
Morrison had a big night, adding 13 rebounds to his 35 points for a double-double. Goggleye followed suit with 16 points and 21 rebounds. Brenden Chiabotti just missed his own double-double with 13 points and nine assists. TJ Chiabotti was the fourth Grizzlies player in double digits, with 12 points, while Jared Chiabotti added eight. Levi Byram and Alex Hartway added four points apiece.
The Grizzlies were set to host Cherry next Tuesday. Game time is set for 7:15 p.m.