B-T boys hold on for two more wins

            Blair-Taylor’s Cain Fremstad went in for a layup during their game against Independence on Thursday.            (Times photograph by Andrew Dannehy)

            Independence’s Xavier Santillan released a jump shot during their game against Blair-Taylor on Thursday.            (Times photograph by Andrew Dannehy)

The Blair-Taylor High School boys basketball team has double digits in the win column this season after adding two more victories last week.

The Wildcats (10-6 this season) squeezed past Loyal on Monday before holding off a late push from Independence on Thursday.

Blair-Taylor plays a busy schedule on the road this week, visiting Alma/Pepin on Tuesday before traveling to Eleva-Strum on Friday and Royall on Saturday.

Blair-Taylor 47 Loyal 40

With just under two minutes to play at Loyal on Monday, Blair-Taylor trailed by a single point.

The host Greyhounds had just finished a 13-2 run to retake the lead, and the Wildcats needed a momentum swing. They got it in the form of an 8-0 run to end the game, one that left coach Randy Storlie proud of his group.

“This was a real defensive battle tonight, and our guys were up to the task,” Storlie told the Times.  “Our guys stuck together and made some positive plays in that final minute of the game. … They left it all on the court tonight.”

Blair-Taylor led by four at halftime before closing the game late. Monday marks the first time this season that the Wildcats won despite not reaching the 50-point threshold. 

Caden Kruse paced Blair-Taylor with 14 points and 10 rebounds, and junior Jaren Swanson scored 10.

B-T (field goals/attempts-free throws/attempts-rebounds -points)—Kniseley 2/6-0/0-2-6, Obieglo 1/3-3/4-4-6, Kruse 5/8-3/6-10-14, Swanson 4/11-0/1-4-10, Fremstad 1/12-0/0-11-2, Nehring 2/8-4/4-8-9.

B-T 76 Independence 61

A 20-point lead at halftime was a big enough gap for the Wildcats on Thursday. The Dairyland Conference clash led to the 10th win of the season for the hosts thanks to three players in double digit scoring.

The Indees made Blair-Taylor work for the win, quickly chipping away at a big lead in the second half. Blair-Taylor led 72-39 with five minutes to play, but Independence finished the game on a 21-4 run.

 “We have to learn the importance of the ball down the stretch and make better choices,” Storlie said. “You cannot duplicate that kind of pressure in practice, so this was a great time to work on it. I am very proud of our guys to walk away with the win.”

Freshman Ethan Kniseley led the Wildcats with 21 points thanks to a 5-for-8 performance from distance. Senior Cain Fremstad had 16 points for Blair-Taylor, and Swanson finished with 14.

Evan Nehring collected 13 rebounds for the Wildcats.

B-T (field goals/attempts-free throws/attempts-rebounds -points)—Kniseley 8/11-0/0-2-21, Kruse 4/11-1/4-7-9, Swanson 6/12-1/2-3-14, Fremstad 7/17-2/2-7-16, Armitage 2/5-2/2-1-6, Smith 1/1-0/0-0-2, Bautsch 0/1-2/2-0-2, Nehring 2/10-2/4-13-6.

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