Boys basketball: Norway surges past Nordics

Norway's Josh Boulden (15) and North Dickinson's Michael Miller (23) chase down the basketball Thursday in Felch. (Burt Angeli/The Daily News)

FELCH — A suffocating defense triggered Norway past North Dickinson 74-23 in a non-conference boys basketball rout Thursday at Carl F. Lemin Gymnasium.

The Knights (2-2) scored the first eight points of the game but the Nordics (1-5) closed to 18-11 at the quarter.

Norway’s pressure led to nine straight points to start the second quarter.

“We caused a lot of problems with our press,” said Norway head coach Jeff Gallino. “We were able to get some easy baskets out of it. That’s what we were looking for.”

Norway’s Connor Ortman scored 13 of his game-high 21 points in the second quarter.

“Norway is a good ball team,” said Nordics head coach Chris Mattson. “They can put pressure on the ball. We played decent in the first quarter but they really extended their defense in the second and caused some issues for us. We were never able to get into an offensive flow.”

Knights senior reserve Adam Faull chipped in 12 points while Micah Wilson and Trey Doda each had 10.

A Faull steal was a part of the early second-quarter run. He tallied consecutive three-point plays, one traditional, to close out the half with the Knights leading 45-15.

“Adam gets his hands up well and gets a lot of deflections that helps us a lot,” Gallino said. “We’re looking to get into a running game and move down the court. He did a really good job of it.”

Norway’s first-year coach also cited 6-foot-4 sophomore Kody Hendricks for scoring eight points and being active on the boards.

“Kody crashes the boards hard and that’s what we’re looking for,” Gallino said. “I told him at the beginning of the year we’re going to need you to rebound.”

Norway, coming off tough losses to Iron Mountain and North Central, brought on the running clock with a 40-point cushion with three minutes left in the third quarter.

“They beat us in every aspect of the game,” Mattson said. “They didn’t turn the ball over, we did (with 22). They rebounded the ball well, we didn’t (with 15).”

The Nordics shot 26 percent from the floor, making 10 of 38 field goals for the game. They hit three in the second half.

Matthew Bruette’s seven points topped the Nordics, who host three-time defending state champion North Central on Jan. 8.

“It doesn’t get any easier for us,” Mattson said.

Norway hosts Forest Park on Thursday, Jan. 4.

The Knights and Nordics will play a Skyline Central Conference game Monday, Jan. 15, in Norway. When Skyline Central Conference teams play twice during the season, only the second meeting counts in the standings.

Norway’s junior varsity, behind Jeffrey VanHolla’s 15 points and Parker Lasater’s 11, downed North Dickinson 55-46. John Briggs scored 15 points and Cameron Schultz had 11 for the Nordics.

Norway 18 27 17 12 — 74

North Dickinson 11 4 5 3 — 23

NORWAY (74): Wilson 10, Plante 8, Faull 12, Reich 2, Boulden 1, Doda 10, LeGrave 2, Hendricks 8, Ortman 21. FT: 6-12. F: 9. 3PT: Wilson 2, Plante, Reich.

NORTH DICKINSON (23): Johnson 2, Nelson 2, Bruette 7, M. Miller 4, Depotie 3, J. Miller 2, Steinbrecher 3. FT: 1-2. F: 11. 3PT: Depotie, Steinbrecher.