Over the holiday break, the Hinckley-Finlayson Jaguars boys’ basketball team traveled to Esko for the annual Coaches Classic Tournament. Unfortunately, the Jaguars didn’t fair too well, losing both of their games.
For the first round of the tournament H-F was matched up with the host school, Esko Eskomos. The Jaguars had their work cut out for them since Esko was ranked 3rd in class AA. The Jags had a decent start to the game, and were hanging with the highly-ranked Esko team for much of the first half. H-F had some success in the first half largely due to their offensive rebounding. The Jaguars grabbed 11 first half offensive rebounds, which led to many second chance scoring opportunities. Near the end of the half, however, H-F struggled with the Eskomo pressure and turned the ball over several times. Esko led at half 36-22. The talent and depth of the Eskomo team took over in the second half of the game. Although the Jaguars kept playing hard, the Ekomos controlled the rebounding, and their talented offense was too much for H-F to handle in the second half. The final score was Esko, 82 and H-F, 47.
In the second round of the tournament the Jaguars took on the Spartans of Nashwauk-Keewatin. Unfortunately, the Jags were tired and sluggish from the tough game the night before. H-F struggled in the first half to take care of the basketball, they turned in over 15 times. The offensive rebounding that gave the Jags some success the night before was non-existent in the first half of this game with the Jaguars only grabbing one first half offensive rebound. The Spartans grabbed the early lead and never looked back. Although the Jaguars played better and fought hard in the second half, they had dug themselves too big of a hole to get out of. When the final horn sounded, Nashwauk-Keewatin claimed the victory of 68-48.
The Jaguars have a busy week after they return from the holiday break. On Tuesday, Jan. 4 Rush City will be coming to Hinckley. Then on Thursday, Jan. 6 the Jaguars host Crosby-Ironton. Finally, on Friday, Jan. 7 the Jags travel to Isle to take on the Mille Lacs Raiders.