With the tire tracks on their backs still freshly visible after being run over by Park Center, the Champlin Park boys basketball team showed the type of response head coach Mark Tuch
scherer was hoping to see.
The Rebels went on the road Jan. 24 and fended off Spring Lake Park for a 75-72 victory that improved their record to 11-4 on the season.
Brennan Witt had 20 points in the victory, which came just two days after Park Center delivered a firm reminder as to why they are the top-ranked team in Class 4A boys basketball.
“They left no doubt about it,” said Tuchscherer after that 98-61 home loss to the Pirates Jan. 22. “It was ugly, but it is something we need to learn from. It is a long season, and there ar
e times you have to bounce back. This is one of those.”
Champlin Park did so in the first half at Spring Lake Park, building a 27-18 lead midway through the opening 18 minutes.
Spring Lake Park rallied behind the hot shooting of Gary Cook, but the Rebels still managed a 39-37 advantage at the h
The two teams would exchange leads in the second half, but Witt took over late with nine points in the final five minutes to help the Rebels go on to win by three.
The victory was Champlin Park’s fifth in its last six games, something the coaching staff felt the team needed to reminded of prior to tip-off.
Sitting as a group inside the locker room long after the Park Center game had gone final, they lamented all that had gone wrong that night, but also how that had not been a trend in recent weeks. Since a late-December loss in Osseo, the Rebels had dropped just one game in their previous nine, and that came in the form of a one-point defeat at No. 9 Elk River Jan. 8.
In wins over Anoka (Jan. 11), Buffalo (Jan. 12), Blaine (Jan. 15) and Andover (Jan. 18), the Rebels had won by an average of nearly 24 points. Twice they were in the 90’s scoring, and only once did their opponent get out of the 50’s.
“That’s just it, we’ve been playing really well,” said Tuchscherer. “Our guys heads weren’t down. They know what happened. We ran into a buzzsaw. That can happen in our league. Like I said, lets see how we respond.”
The answer came in that victory at Spring Lake Park, and two more tests that will come this week.
Champlin Park played at Maple Grove Jan. 29, and then at home against Robbinsdale Armstrong at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31.
Contact Nick Clark at [email protected]