Panthers take advantage of Vikings’ youth, win on the road
BARAGA — The Baraga Vikings boys basketball team fell short at home to the Chassell Panthers who put up a 27-point effort during the first eight minutes of play with shot accuracy from all around the floor and an ability to move inside the paint quickly.
“We had a much better start than our first game,” said Panthers coach Raphael Soumis. “Less turnovers, better passing, better shooting. I was very happy. For the most part, we moved the ball well. We’ve got rebounding issues but overall we played well.”
Baraga got their first points of the night 50 seconds into the second quarter, with a three-pointer from senior William Jondreau. His brother, Steele Jondreau, a sophomore, would follow soon after with two more from three-point range, showing some signs of life for the Vikings.
Height, longevity and accuracy coming from the visitors’ side started to take its toll. Soumis was happy to see his team come out with a win after a tough season opener against Lake Linden-Hubbell.
Bill Rautiola helped lead the Panthers to victory with a team high 18 points.
“We just wanted to control the game, but that was about it,” said Soumis. “We just played better. We were pretty flat (in) the first game. Bill Rautiola shot very well for us tonight. I was very happy.”
A slow first quarter halted Baraga, but the young team showed improvement in the second quarter. Ultimately, they were unable to make up for lost time.
“It was a lot of turnovers and a very slow start to the first half. (With) no points in the first quarter, you’re not going to beat anybody that way,” said Baraga coach Chris Loonsfoot. “Our ball movement in the second quarter was better and our rebounding and defense got a little bit better.
“Our shooting from the three-point line was phenomenal in the second quarter. All we hit were three’s. It’s slowly coming together. We’re going to work on passing the ball around (and) triple threats, basic stuff. We’re getting back to the basics.”
The Vikings fell short and still may be searching for their team identity, but they put up a fight with three sophomores in Carson Holmquist who had four points, Presley Rasanen who had 6 points and Steele Jondreau who put up a team-high 14 points.
“Carson Holmquist, played decent,” said Loonsfoot. “I thought he did well. He’s another sophomore. Like I said, we’re young.
“Presley Rasanen and Steele Jondreau, they shot the ball well at times, but it’s going to click and eventually they’ll realize how special we are.”
Chassell will face the Ontonagon Gladiators on Monday while Baraga will take on Watersmeet.
Chassell 27 15 11 18 – 71
Baraga 0 15 12 7 – 34
CTS: Warren 10, Soumis 12, A. Gockenbach 8, Kytta 6, J. Gockenbach 4, Tuomi 2, Holley 4, Rautiola 18, Olson 7; Fouls 8; Fouled out, none; 3-point field goals: Rautiola 3
BAR: S. Jondreau 14, Rasanen 6, Holmquist 4, Connor 3, W. Jondreau 3, Owens 4; Fouls: 14; Fouled out: none; 3-point field goals: S. Jondreau 4, Rasanen 2, Holmquist 1, Connor 1.