Week 4 action in the Fort Frances Men’s Basketball League saw the BDO Ballerz and Arctic Cat suffer their first losses of the season.
The Muskies took on Sunset Landscaping in the early game, with each side having poor attendance with only four players dressing for their squads.
But it turned into a good match nonetheless, as the extra open space translated into more scoring opportunities.
Mark Heyens of Sunset (1-3) took full advantage, flicking the switch in this game from hard effort to full-on “Beast Mode”.
With constant power post-up layups, and quick transition buckets from running the floor, Heyens put up an impressive 51 points, which is about as dominating a performance as their has been in the mean’s league the past few years.
Cody Johnson was steady as usual and contributed 18 points with three deep three-pointers and some good all around play during the game.
The Muskies (1-3) were not overmatched in this contest, however, and featured more balanced scoring with Brett Schram contributing 20 points, Caleb Allen putting up 16, Dominic States scoring 13, and Braeden Christiansen adding 11, to finish up with a 62 point total.
The absence of their leading scorer, Mike Vanderaa, was likely the difference in this one as the Muskies failed to close the scoring gap late.
With two players on Sunset Landscaping contributing 69 of their 71 points, John Wooden could be heard from “Basketball Heaven” suggesting that those two be more closely guarded at some point, but it didn’t seem to register and the Muskies lost this one 71-62.
The 7:30 game featured the undefeated Arctic Cat against the defending champion Revco Renegades, who were looking to avenge an annihilation from last week at the hands of RBC.
Brad Wardas returned to the lineup this week along with TJ States and it made all the difference in the flow of the game with terrific ball distribution throughout the contest.
John Sivonen continually moved about the court on offence, setting up for opportunistic three pointers and cashed in on five of them in finishing with 16 points.
Brad Wardas was quiet from the field in the first half, but went off for 16 points in the second half with four three-pointers of his own.
Steve Windels chipped in with 12 points and the team had the ball whizzing around the perimeter with good command throughout the game, showing that this team can put it all together when they have a full lineup out.
Arctic Cat (3-1) had Morgan Anderson shouldering the scoring load with 21 points, but he didn’t get the usual output from some of their other players on some subpar shooting performances from them.
Monte Gubbels put in nine points and youngster Andros Bruyere contributed eight, with some promising moves that showed this newcomer to the league will become an excellent player in years to come.
In the end, Revco (2-2) was too polished and motivated in this one and cruised to a comfortable 64-50 win, handing Arctic Cat its first loss of the year.
The final game of the night had RBC up against the Ballerz, who had been undefeated to this point for the year.
BDO came out in its trademark 1-3-1 zone defence, holding RBC (2-2) to just 22 points in the first half, but was unable to get much going offensively themselves and found the game tied at halftime.
Sam Soderman of the Lions did what he does and showed he can’t be stopped, only contained, and scored 32 points despite heavy pressure throughout the game.
Brady Jenson contributed 13 points but was fairly well shut down offensively, and RBC was held to 56 points at the final buzzer.
The Ballerz relied on some help from Morgan Anderson and John Sivonen, who helped fill in for missing players, and they each contributed 15 and 13 points, respectively.
A late game change of defence from BDO to man-to-man turned out to be a mistake as the Lions distanced themselves to a six-point lead down the stretch, helped along by some sloppy turnovers by the Ballerz.
Despite a late-game three-pointer by Sivonen, and a controversial timeclock refereeing decision, BDO (3-1) could not narrow the lead in the final seconds and lost this one 56-51.
Action will resume this Thursday, with the Muskies battling the Renegades in the early game at 6:40 p.m.
RBC then will tangle with Sunset at 7:30 p.m. while the Ballerz will square off against Arctic Cat to close out the night at 8:30.