Healthy Lumberjacks catch a win streak

 

February 3, 2023

Dan Saletel

Caption/Description: Cloquet #10 Seth Rothamel gets a half-step lead ahead of Marshall defenders on a breakaway to the net as the Lumberjacks take on the Hilltoppers Monday night in Cloquet.

Team breaks through to go over .500

The Cloquet boys basketball team won for the fifth time in the last six games when they throttled Duluth Marshall, 98-69, Monday.

"We are playing pretty well right now," said Cloquet head coach Steve Battaglia. "We are finally getting healthy and last week was the first week we had all been together. It is nice to have a few more weapons to work with on offense."

A couple of those weapons are sophomores Seth Rothamel and Jack Battaglia, who finished with 23 and 21 points, respectively, to lead Cloquet in scoring. The duo connected for 10 of Cloquet's 14 3-pointers.

"Both of those guys got in a groove and Kollin (Bonneville) did a nice job of getting our offense moving," Battaglia said.

The Lumberjacks rolled out to a 52-35 halftime lead as they focused their defensive efforts on stopping the Hilltoppers super sophomore Brooks Johnson.

"He's the real deal," said Battaglia. "He's 6-foot-5 and athletic. He will probably have a shot at a Division I college ride in the future."

The Lumberjacks used Bonneville and Reese Sheldon, both seniors, defensively on Johnson as they held the star to 20 points.

Dan Saletel

Cloquet's Marco Mayorga muscles through defense by Marshall's Landon Puffer to get to the net as the Lumberjacks cruised over the Hilltoppers Monday in Cloquet.

Cloquet also got strong offensive efforts from another senior, Marco Mayorga, who finished with 16 points, and Sheldon, who added 15 points. Also scoring for the 'Jacks were Joe Bailey, with seven points and Jordan Aultman with six. Both Izaiah Carrier and Bonneville finished with three points each, and Malachi Bridge and Shazae Henagin each recorded two points.

"We are 9-8 right now and we were decimated by injuries early in the year," Coach Battaglia said. "We are kind of in the middle of the pack right now. We are good enough to beat anyone, but we are finally healthy and now we have to get more consistent."

The Lumberjacks are off until Tuesday, Feb. 7, when they head to Grand Rapids. They hope to use that time to build on their recent progress.

"Right now, we are playing seven guys consistently and we are trying to find more depth," Battaglia said. "Our key now is to stay healthy and continue to work on getting better."

After playing Grand Rapids on Tuesday, the Lumberjacks will stay on the road for a Thursday tilt in Hibbing.

 
 

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