Pequot Lakes Patriots Set High Bar For 2017-18 Campaign
We’re three weeks into the high school boys basketball season, and one of the teams emerging as an unstoppable force are the Pequot Lakes Patriots, who are off to a hot 4-0 start to the 2017-18 campaign.
“4-0 is pretty awesome,” senior point guard Chase Larson said. “I mean, we’ve been playing together as a team pretty well. We’ve been scoring quite a few points, which is going to win some games.”
Both players and coaches alike say that the team’s success is built upon defense. Until last night’s offensive barn-burner against Staples-Motley, the Patriots hadn’t given up more than 45 points in any contest this season.
“It’s mainly from our defense,” senior forward Zach Sjoblad said. “It all starts with our defense; it leads to how our offense plays.”
“I think it’s one of those things where as long as you’re disciplined enough and do it every night, sometimes you’re not gonna shoot it so well, but you’ll still have a chance,” Patriots head coach Rich Spizzka said. “And if you don’t, you might not.”
But just because the defense is so strong, that doesn’t mean it takes away from the offensive skill-set. In yesterday’s win over the Cardinals, the Patriots put up a whopping 92 points.
“I think the biggest thing for us is we stress ball movement and finding the shot that fits the guy that’s taking it,” Spizzka said. “For our three-point shooters, it’s a squared up three-pointer after some ball reversal. For other kids, it might be a lay-up. But you know, we really stress moving the basketball and finding the shot that’s fit for whoever has the basketball at the time. So far, we’ve done a nice job of that.”
The team doesn’t like to talk about end goals for the season, but the players and coaches both say that expectations are high for this team this season.
“Obviously, we set high expectations for ourselves and we obviously try hard enough to match them,” Sjoblad said.
The Patriots will next travel to face Grand Rapids on Friday night.