Swede boys’ speed and size sinks Sailors
It didn’t take the Gothenburg boys basketball team much time to recognize its strength and athleticism advantage over the Sutherland Sailors Friday.
Those factors, along with committing only three turnovers in the contest, led to 51-28 Swede win.
Head coach Roger Koehler said he knew the Sailors were struggling this season but had a player in Tyler Fear who could score consistently.
“We put a lot of focus on him throughout the game,” Koehler said.
With height and speed on their side, the Swedes pressured Sutherland and looked to convert in transition.
Gothenburg opened the game with a 12-6 lead in the first quarter.
Both teams struggled early on as neither made a basket until three minutes had passed.
However, Gothenburg scored five times before the first period of play was over.
The second frame was filled with defense as the Swedes didn’t give up a basket for five minutes while extending the lead to nine points. A pair of free throws by Nate Graham made it an 11-point ball game with 27 seconds remaining in the half.
Sutherland’s Fear sank a three-point basket before the horn sounded but the Sailors trailed 21-13 at the break.
Koehler said the team played well in the first half, but could’ve made more shots.
“We played well in all aspects for the most part,” Koehler said. “We made it an emphasis to focus on our shooting before the game.”
The message was received at halftime as back-to-back three-point baskets by Ross Ostendorf and Adam Speck stretched the Swede lead to 14.
The Sailors made their first shot in the second half with 3:45 remaining in the quarter.
Gothenburg limited Sutherland to only three baskets and seven points while scoring 19 of its own and led 40-20.
Swede success and Sutherland struggles continued into the fourth quarter.
Gothenburg had five players score in the final stanza to win by 23 points.
The Swedes didn’t have their best game shooting, Koehler said, but he was satisfied with the outcome.
“Most importantly we came out of the game victorious,” he said. “I’d rather shoot poorly and win than shoot well and lose.”
Gothenburg’s balanced attack was led by Tanner Borchardt’s 10 points and 15 rebounds.
Sutherland was paced by Fear with 17 points.