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Young Bearcats basketball teams lose first games to Roseau Rams

By Kris Folland, coach
The Bearcat boys basketball team traveled to Roseau to take on the section 8AA opponent to kick off the season. After the resignation of all three boys basketball coaches from last season, an all-new coaching staff, the graduation of a strong senior class, and a late start to the season,there were more unknowns than knowns when competition finally started.
Jimmy Chitwood is not sitting in the bushes ready to play, but what we do have is 25 student athletes in grades seven through 12 who are committed to excelling in the classroom and improving on the court.
Junior high seventh and eighth grade is led by Coach Bob Jaszczak. The young Bearcats put up a formidable effort in their game. They started out behind by 12 points, but quickly got their bearings and settled in. They worked hard and held the gap fairly steady the rest of the game and lost by a score of 27-41. Scoring leaders were Ty Vig, 14, Emmett Lunsetter, 6, Brock Scalese, 4, Brody Scalese, 3. Defensive player of the game was Brody Scalese.
Junior varsity is led by Coach Blaine Kraska. With no seniors and only two juniors on the Bearcats varsity team, they are challenged with balancing playing three halves total per event per player and remaining competitive in JV and varsity. The majority of sophomores played one half of JV and two halves of varsity.
Roseau is heavy with upperclassman and jumped out ahead as both teams traded a few baskets. First half leaders were Chisum Schmiedeberg, Isaac Folland and Kaden Vig on both sides of the ball. Dylon Warnke fired up as the game progressed but at halftime the Bearcats were behind by a score of 17-23.
The second half was competitive throughout and strong play by Warnke and Brandon Ristad kept the game close. The game drifted away toward the end with Roseau winning 37-28.
Offensive scoring leaders were Warnke with 8 and Folland with 7. Kaden Vig added 4, Chisum Schmiedeberg, 4, Brandon Ristad, 3 and Braden Faken, 2. Defensive player of the game for the Bearcats was Ristad, who was also aggressive on second-half rebounds.
The Bearcats varsity is led by Coach Kris Folland and is identical to the Bearcats junior varsity except the addition of junior and second-year starter Evan Austad. After last year’s loss at Roseau, this year’s team knew to expect Roseau to have an aggressive full-court press and shoot plenty of long shots. Roseau did that and more as they returned the majority of their players from last season. They were very aggressive after the ball and scored on fast break steals, drives and deep shots. The Bearcats were aggressive on offense early but some offensive charge fouls and easy missed shots that didn’t fall kept the visitor’s side of the scoreboard quiet.
The halftime score had Roseau easily leading 37-11. The second half wasn’t  much different from the first as Roseau poured the coals and stayed hot throughout. The Bearcats had numerous opportunities on offense but struggled to get offensive rebounds and control of the ball.
Toward the end of the second half Roseau caused a few more easy turnovers and made some easy baskets that stretched the lead to 55-17 for the Roseau win.
Bearcats ball handlers Austad, Schmiedeberg, Ristad and Faken did well breaking the press but the team struggled transitioning toward the basket crossing half court. Every practice the Bearcats work on the 3-on-2-on-1 drill but the easy layup to the basket and offensive set up was missing at game time.
Roseau was happy to get back in the win column and the Bearcats were left with plenty to work on.
While young, the Bearcats need to control the ball but be aggressive toward the basket, box out, rebound and defensively buckle down and work.
Offensive scoring included Evan Austad, 9, Kaden Vig, 10, Isaac Folland, 4, Chisum Schmiedeberg, 3. Defensive players of the game were Kaden Vig and Isaac Folland, protecting the basket on the inside and strong help defense throughout while limiting their fouls.
The Bearcats’ next game is against RLCC on Tuesday, Jan. 19.

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