The Becker Bulldogs boys basketball team hosted North Branch in a M8 Conference game last Friday and fell 81-74 after a furious second half comeback by the Vikings.
“Unfortunately, we did not play with the focus and intensity needed on the defensive side of the ball,” Coach Cory Nuest said. “We have dropped four out of our last five games and in every game we have held a lead in the second half of each loss.”
Becker led 33-27 at halftime, with an all-senior starting lineup taking the floor in honor of Senior Night and Parents Night.
“Landon Lahr and Connor Gass made their first starting appearances and electrified the crowd, Nuest said. “Connor kept the Bulldog crowd alive, dropping six points with his ‘baby hook’ and smooth moves around the rim in the first few minutes. His energy led us to start the game strong against a very good North Branch team.”
In the second half, the Vikings found their offensive rhythm and took control en route to their victory.
“I need to do a better job of coaching them,” Nuest added. “I believe in them as players and believe that we will finish the season strong.”
Becker scoring: Josh Groskreutz three, Nathan Weiss 11, Kyan Blomquist 19 (seven rebounds), Mitch Soltau eight, Sawyer Brown 18, Landon Peterson nine (seven assists), Connor Gass six.
Monday night, Becker went on the road to face the Rocori Spartans and came away on the short end of an 83-66 score. The non-conference loss moved Becker to 10-10 overall on the season, while the Bulldogs are 6-4 and tied for third place in the Mississippi8 Conference with six regular season games remaining on the schedule.
Once again, Becker put together a strong first half only to see their efforts erased by a strong second half from their opponent.
“It was another game where we played a solid first half, but could not get enough stops in the second half to stay in the game,” Nuest said.
Becker trailed just 36-32 at halftime before the Spartans put up 47 second half points to run away with the game. Nuest credited senior Connor Gass for his efforts at leading the Bulldogs with effort.
“He continues to provide great leadership for us,” Nuest said.
The Bulldogs had three players in double figures, led by Kyan Blomquist’s 20 points. Weiss added 12 and Soltau had 10 for Becker.
Other scoring: Zach Bengtson eight, Sawyer Brown five, Isiah Boyer two, Connor Gass four.
Becker hosted Zimmerman on Friday night for the first of five straight home games, with Princeton coming to town for a Tuesday night game.