Mike Coble drives inside early in Friday's game with Pine Island. Photo by Chris Douglas
By Coach Kyle Finney
The Byron Bears sit at 10-8 after a recent 2-1 week with 8 more regular season games on the slate. Byron has been streaking of late going 7-3 in their last 10 games. This past Tuesday, Jan. 31, the Bears beat the Triton Cobras 63-45. Byron played a great defensive game and frustrated the Cobras all night. They worked the ball around well on offense to maintain a 10-12 point lead all night until they busted the game out late. Triton shot only 35% from the field and were held to 2/16 three point shooting.
Balance on offense was once again the key as three players found their way to double figures. Michael Coble and Bjorn Knutson had 13 and Caden Blazing had 11. Coble and Knutson both had 7 rebounds to lead all players. Chad Grube had a nice all-around game with 4 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists. The Bears had 17 points off the bench lead by Nick Brown's 8.
Byron then traveled to Rochester Lourdes for a make up game with the Eagles on Thursday. The rivalry game didn't leave the Bears disappointed as they jumped out to a 21-16 lead and held on for the 55-46 victory. Caden Blazing kept up his strong play with a 10 point night not to be outdone by Bjorn Knutson's 11 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists.
It was a nice win against a quality team as the Bears continue to fight for section seeding spots and the possibility of hosting a playoff game.
A tale of two halves
The week ended with a big match up against a 14-3 Pine Island Panthers. It was a tale of two halves as Byron played one of their best halves of the year followed by one of their worst. In the first half great ball movement and efficient defense lead to a 42-36 halftime lead. The second half would see a defensive collapse by the Bears, combined with poor ball movement on offense. Byron could never slow down the Panther attack as they scored 44 second half points on their way to the 80-66 win.
Knutson had 18 points to lead the way for Byron followed by Coble's 13, Blazing's 12 and Grube's 10. Coble added 7 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals. Knutson had 6 assists to lead all players.
"We have definitely been playing better of late, but there is plenty of room for improvement yet and the fact that we know we can play so much better is what is exciting," Coach Finney said.
"For us it is pretty simple - good ball movement on offense and quality defense has to be our calling card for the final stretch. With limited practice time and lots of game action, we will have to find solutions on the court and work together as an entire group of players and coaches to get us there."