Boys basketball: Norway outguns cold-shooting Broncos

Norway's Josh Plante looks to make a pass over Bark River-Harris defender Logan Heim (45) in Friday night's game. (Mike Mattson/The Daily Press)

HARRIS — When a basketball team turns the ball over just seven times it usually stands a pretty good chance of winning.

The Bark River-Harris boys indeed kept their turnovers down, but were colder than the great outdoors from the floor and fell to the Norway Knights 64-41 Friday night.

“We didn’t shoot the ball well, and I’m sure their defense had something to do with that,” said BR-H coach Jim VanEnkevort. “They’re a good team. They really played well. It seemed like they were faster and quicker than us. They were getting to the loose balls.”

The Skyline Central Conference contest was tied at 17 early in the second quarter when senior Ryan Arndt drained a 20-foot jump shot from the right wing against Norway’s man-to-man defense.

The Knights (5-2, 4-1) responded with seven unanswered points, gaining a 24-17 lead on a two-handed dunk by senior Connor Ortman midway through the second.

BR-H (4-3 overall, 3-3) was within 26-21 a minute before halftime, but a pair of free throws by Ortman and a lay-in by senior Micah Wilson put the Knights up by nine points (30-21) at halftime.

“We didn’t feel too bad at halftime, being cold from the floor and being down by nine,” said VanEnkevort. “But we fell in love with the 3-point shots for a while. Although, I think their size was a factor.”

Norway continued to build on its lead in the third quarter, outscoring the Broncos 23-8 for an insurmountable 53-29 advantage.

“I thought our kids really controlled the pace in the third quarter,” said Norway coach Jeff Gallino. “Josh Plante did heck of a job pushing the ball upcourt. I thought we also did a good job holding them to one shot per possession. Bark River-Harris has a good team, only I think they were a little off tonight. They have some nice ballplayers. This is a good win for us.”

Plante had seven assists in the game.

The Broncos led much of the opening frame, but trailed 15-12 going into the second.

Ortman, showing soft shooting touch and some nifty moves inside, finished with 26 points. He also had 14 rebounds and four steals.

Sophomore Kody Hendricks added 10 and Wilson had nine with five assists.

“Connor can play in most spots,” said Gallino. “We had Connor in the post and he got a few layups. He had a real good game.”

The Knights, who finished 13 turnovers, host North Dickinson Monday.

Arndt and junior Broc Stenberg led the Broncos with eight points apiece.

BR-H, which also dropped the jayvee contest 41-38, hosts Forest Park Monday.

Norway 15 15 23 12 — 64

BR-Harris 12 9 8 12 — 41

NORWAY (64): Wilson 9, Plante 5, Faull 3, Boulden 7, Doda 2, LeGrave 2, Hendricks 10, Ortman 26. FT: 6-8; F: 15; Fouled out: None; 3-point field goals: Wilson, Faull, Boulden, Ortman. FG shooting: 27-53. Rebounds: 44 (Ortman 14, Hendricks 8).

BARK RIVER-HARRIS (41): Mustafa 6, DeGrave 1, Stenberg 8, Arndt 8, Korhonen 2, Schultz 5, Groos 4, Debelak 3, Heim 4. FT: 6-12. F: 9. 3PT: Stenberg 2, Arndt 1, Schultz 1, Debelak 1. FG: 15-54. Rebounds: 21.