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Vikings sail to 70-12 win over Trojans

by JIM DASIOS
| February 8, 2022 7:00 AM

The Bigfork Vikings laid waste the Troy Trojans during the two teams’ second matchup of the season Feb. 3.

The showdown between the two conference rivals ended in a final score of 70-12.

Bigfork’s size and speed, combined with their ability to block shots, vaulted them to an early lead. Troy navigated Bigfork’s full court press, but getting off quality shots was another matter.

Trevor Grant‘s follow-up shot at the 3:20 mark and Michael Foote’s two free throws at the 2:56 mark were the Trojans’ only points of the quarter. The Vikings sailed to an early 22-4 lead.

The second quarter saw the Vikings press start to create Trojan turnovers. That led to more Viking points. Troy, meanwhile, was completely stymied offensively. Halftime saw Bigfork leading 39-4.

Troy coach Justin Young highlighted his team’s patience early on in the game.

“We were able to attack their zone press … we were patient and able to pass the ball before the double team came,” he said. “We didn’t dribble into traps.”

But as the Vikings’ lead mounted, the Trojans’ discipline began to falter.

“When we started getting further behind on the scoreboard, the kids got in a hurry mode and weren’t as patient attacking [Bigfork’s] press,” he said.

Bigfork’s size led to second and third shots at the basket, though not without a fight. Although outsized, the Trojans battled for every rebound.

Troy went two for five from the free throw line in the first half. Bigfork connected on nine out of 10 free throws. Overall, Troy would land five of 10 free throw shots while Bigfork sunk 12 of 14.

The third quarter saw Grant and Paxton Fisher execute a lay-up and mid-range jumper for Trojan points.

With the 40-point rule in effect and time moving quickly, Troy’s Tyler Munts was able to hit Swiss foreign exchange student Alex Kaufmann with a nice bounce pass on a backdoor cut.

Troy sent in their all freshman lineup as the game wound down. Freshman Wyle Aylea got three shots off in the final two minutes of the game. Unfortunately, none fell in.

After the buzzer, Young noted that the odds were heavily against Troy going into the game.

“In order for us to beat a talented team like Bigfork, a lot of things need to happen,” he said. “We have to make shots. We didn’t. They play at a quick pace. We had difficulties keeping up.”

But he highlighted the squad’s improved 2-3 zone defense.

“We’re moving around better. Filling in gaps. Flying to the ball,” he said.

Young singled out Kaufmann for providing quality time and sophomore Derik Cole for finding his footing on the court.

“[Cole], although pretty raw, saw playing time,” Young said. “He’s coming along and picking things up quickly.”

He praised the Trojans’ doggedness on the court.

“The kids battled hard on the boards,” he said. “It was much improved from the last game.”

Grant led the Trojans in scoring with four points. Fisher and Kaufmann came away with three each. For the Vikings, Eli Thorness and Cole Knopik scored 10 each.

Bigfork 22 17 20 11 - 70

Troy 4 0 4 4 - 12