If the commercials during the Super Bowl left you unfulfilled and the game wasn't what you had hoped for, then you might consider taking in one of the Little Falls Flyers boys' basketball games this week.
The Flyers, 12-0 overall and 7-0 in the Central Lakes Conference, start the week at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Rocori.
In their previous matchup Dec. 12, Little Falls knocked Rocori out of the state rankings with a 66-61 win over the Spartans. Now Rocori is back in the rankings at No. 6 and will be looking to knock the Flyers off their No. 3 perch.
"Both teams are better than the last time we played," said Flyers coach Kevin Jordan. "We've added some things offensively and defensively and I'm sure they have too. It's a new situation and a new building."
Little Falls has been battling some illness but Jordan believes his players will be ready. What Jordan is more concerned about is whether his team can keep playing the way it has, high-tempo basketball with good rebounding.
"We have to focus on our strengths," said Jordan. "We want to be fast in transition. Defensively, we have to keep them off the offensive boards."
Rocori is coming off a difficult 37-36 conference loss to the Alexandria Cardinals Friday. With three players (Neil Thomes 12.6 points per game, Josh Porwoll 10.7, and Steve Kron 10.2) averaging in double figures the Flyers will need to play good defense all over the court.
One advantage for the Flyers, especially with their up-tempo style of play, is their depth. They Flyers have nine quality players, with their point guard Nate Miller and forward Kendall Feia leading the way. Miller is averaging 25.8 points and Feia 10.0.
Noah Czech has been great off the bench for Little Falls and the defensive play of Chris Bell at the No. 2 guard position will be important.
"You can't do what we try to do offensively with five guys," Jordan said. "It's easy to do that with nine guys. Our depth is an advantage. Against Rocori that's not that big of an advantage."
Another place the Flyers will be tested is at Staples 7:30 p.m. Saturday when the Flyers face the Staples-Motley Cardinals. At 13-2 the Cardinals are rolling. They haven't lost since Christmas.
"In the past what I've been worried about is matching their intensity," said Jordan. "They're the one team, even warming up, you hear about 20 sets of sneakers squeaking.
"They're going to play hard defensively and being able to match that is key."
Jordan is hoping to stop the play of S-M point guard Jeff Brever and wants to make sure the Flyers' defense doesn't let one player beat them.
"When we go against Staples we have to make sure one player isn't dominating their offensive end," Jordan said. "I would like to see them have good balance rather than one guy get 20 points."
With Brad Moore, Bobby Burton, Dan Lund and Adam Barnett all playing well for Cardinals head coach Lynn Peterson this will be one of the better games in the area.
In Jordan's preseason prognosis he mentioned that Little Falls could make a run at the conference title and a state tournament trip. If the Flyers can get past this week with their perfect record intact a trip to the state tournament could be a reality.
The Pequot Lakes girls' basketball team will need to find someone to stop forward Sarah Laposky when the Patriots travel to Pine River-Backus 7:30 p.m. today.
This heated rivalry has featured some great games. With the Park Region Conference title at stake, and more importantly, the Section 7AA seedings coming up, this game has many implications.
Both teams will be looking to advance deep into the playoffs and what better barometer to check their ability than against their biggest rival.
Before their win against Pierz last Tuesday, Pequot coach Bill Larson mentioned his concern for tonight's game. With Pequot Lakes 11-2 and PR-B 13-4 this should be a close game.
The last time the teams squared off Pequot handed the Tigers a 52-38 defeat. But this time around the Tigers have the home-court advantage.
One thing Larson is happy about is his scoring balance. With Megan Arns, Julie Redebaugh and Joan Ebnet all averaging in double figures and the improved play of Teresa Parker, the Patriots are playing above expectations.
The Tigers have been getting great play from Meg Tabaka in the last few games. She's averaging 7.4 points.
The focal point for the Tigers' offense and for Pequot's defense will be Laposky. She already has 414 points this season for a 24.4 average.
Brooke Rollins will need to regain her early scoring touch and her sister, Whitney, will need to continue her consistent play for the Tigers.
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