FIELD TWP- In the North Woods boys 104-33 blowout of Silver Bay on their home court on Tuesday, the most frenzied flurry of lineup changes came after the game, when it seemed everyone wanted to get …
FIELD TWP- In the North Woods boys 104-33 blowout of Silver Bay on their home court on Tuesday, the most frenzied flurry of lineup changes came after the game, when it seemed everyone wanted to get their pictures taken with the Grizzlies’ Darius Goggleye.
Foregoing traditional parent night activities because of COVID-19 restrictions, North Woods declared Tuesday to be “senior night,” which meant unofficially that it was “Darius Goggleye Night,” since he’s the team’s only senior.
It was the perfect night to fete Goggleye, because on a chip shot basket at the 8:12 mark of the first half Goggleye hit the career scoring milestone of 1,000 points. Play was halted momentarily as Goggleye received the landmark ball and congratulations amidst a standing ovation from the fans.
Under a blue-and-white balloon arch hastily erected after the game, Goggleye and a 1,000 points sign were the two constants as different groups of teammates, coaches, family, friends, and fans took turns for over ten minutes getting their pictures taken with the Grizzlies senior.
“Darius is all the things you hope for in an athlete,” Head Coach Will Kleppe said. “He is dedicated, hardworking, coachable, mature, humble but intense at the same time. It’s been my pleasure to get to work with him during his varsity career and watch him develop into the young man whose hard work (and the hard work of his teammates) led him to the 1,000-point milestone.”
It was a festive end to an evening in which the Grizzlies reasserted themselves after last Friday’s disappointing 63-60 loss to Ely and reclaimed some of the style and swagger that characterized their previous nine wins.
The Grizzlies welcomed the 4-11 Mariners with a full-court defensive tornado that generated a whopping 31 steals and 34 turnovers overall, miscues that North Woods turned into 46 points.
The offensive onslaught was so overwhelming that the Grizzlies scored more points in the first half, 64, than they scored the entire game at Ely. Silver Bay could muster only 20 points in response.
Almost everything was clicking as the team shot 55 percent from the field and a red-hot 48 percent from beyond the arc while dishing out 29 assists. The Grizzlies dominated the battle of the boards, 46-24. The only areas outside of Head Coach Will Kleppe’s normal game targets were free throws, where the Grizzlies hit 11-of-18 for 61 percent, and turnovers, with 14.
Goggleye was 5-of-11 from the field and netted six free throws for 16 points, but T.J. Chiabotti scored a game high 20, and Brenden Chiabotti hit for 17. Alex Hartway popped in 13, and all ten Grizzlies made it into the scoring column.
North Woods wraps up its regular season with a home game Friday against South Ridge and a Saturday road game at Mt. Iron-Buhl, and then will wait for the sectional tournament bracket to be announced on Monday. The Grizzlies are already a lock to host a first-round matchup on Thursday, March 18.