Guernsey-Sunrise Vikings open play in Burns Winter Classic


MINATARE – The Guernsey-Sunrise had the auspicious task of taking on No. 5 Southeast last Thursday night and after a slow start in the first half, came back and outscored the Cyclones in the second half. The game was 33-10 at halftime and Southeast coasted a bit not realizing the comeback ability of the Vikings.

“We struggled throughout the game with offensive flow especially shooting,” first year head coach Steve Zimmerman said. “Being the first game applying a new system was not smooth  which lead to the boys pressing to make opportunities happen.  We ended with 25 turnovers which was the first leg to our downfall.  The second leg was free-throw shooting, 3 of 18.   Jacob Roper and Dawson Bingham played well to lead the team in overall performance.  Though we let Southeast get away from us there were several flashes on both offense and defense that are great building blocks for the team.”

Against Southeast both Aidan Noggle who led the team with 4 assists also was co-leader in points with Dawson Bingham. Each had 10 points apiece followed by Tristan Hohnholt with 9, Caleb Christensen with 8 and Jacob Roper with 6 points and 10 rebounds.

On Saturday the Vikings traveled to Minatare where they won their first game of the year and it was also the first victory for Zimmerman as a Viking head coach.

“There was better flow offensively with Caleb Christensen and Tristan Hohnholt dominating,” Zimmerman said. “We controlled the boards for most of the game and were impressive in the third quarter with a team defense that shut out Minatare to break the game open.  Aidan Noggle, our point guard, was showing growth in the position until hampered with fouls in the fourth quarter.  Nathan Van Natter and Mason Collar had solid contributions coming off the bench.”

Hohnholt led all scorers with 23 and he also knocked down two 3-point shots. He also led the team with 6 steals and 3 assists. Christensen who was a force on the boards ended up with his first double-double of the year, hitting 22 points and pulling down 14 rebounds. Others who found a place in the scoring column were Noggle with 4, Bingham with 4, Collar with 2 and Roper with 1 point.

“Overall, the team is still developing an understanding of a new system and expectations,” Zimmerman said. “They have embraced the challenge and showed growth between the two games.  We are not in great physical condition yet as we have to devote time to teaching.  Areas we will be focusing on this next week are, 1. reducing turnovers from wing positions.  Reading the defense and looking at second and third options in the offenses.  2 . Handling press pressure which we will see the next two games.  3. Defensively we will focus on on-the-ball pressure.  4.  Free throws. The enthusiasm and willingness to work has been excellent so far.”

The boys will be playing Lusk on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.

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