Freemen Trounce Oak Hills, Fall to Rebels
Providence men’s basketball beat Oak Hills by 48 then come 4 short of Rebels
The Freemen basketball squad started their weekend off with a bang Friday night as they trounced a visiting Oak Hills squad 70-22. Providence then faced a strong Red River squad Saturday afternoon, and, despite holding a late one-point lead, the Freemen were unable to steal their first win of the season away from the Rebels as Red River took the game 60-56.
“(Freemen coach) Juan (Larios) decided to switch up the starting line-up to give different guys a chance for more playing time,” senior Cam Friesen commented after Friday night’s game. “It was really nice to see some of the young guys getting big minutes and doing a great job leading our team to a 48-point victory.”
The Freemen anticipated that Friday night’s match-up against Oak Hills would serve more as a warm-up for their Saturday match-up against Red River than anything else. Knowing such, coach Larios decided to change around his line-up and gave extra minutes to his bench players as a reward for their reliability throughout the season. The bench responded well, as did any starters called upon, and despite a sportsmanlike effort from the visiting Oak Hills squad, the Freemen cruised to an easy 70-22 victory.
The game also presented a highlight reel rebound alley-oop layup from Friesen as he charged the net from the wing, grabbed the rebound and put it away in one motion, all while fighting through heavy traffic in the paint. Freshman Chris Funk also earned a double-double in the game, scoring 20 and grabbing 10 boards.
The Freemen then entered Saturday’s match-up hoping that they would finally be able to take a game away from the visiting Red River squad. However, the squad faced a key injury early on in the game, as starting point guard Jesse Funk took an elbow to the nose and had to sit out the rest of the half. Nonetheless, the two squads continued to battle it out on the court, but it was the Rebels who were able to enter the break with a 30-24 lead.
With memories of the massive Lady Freemen comeback still in fan’s minds, the packed building had high hopes of another set of late-game heroics from the home side. The two sides continued their tight play throughout the third quarter to stay tight, and Friesen made a late layup to bring the Freemen within 4 points at the quarter’s end. The fourth quarter then presented even more fast-paced action, as the intensity on the court picked up, and both sides battled for control. The Freemen then finally surpassed the Rebels with less than two minutes remaining off a jumper from senior Jon Patterson. But, with only a minute remaining on the clock, the Freemen took an offensive charge, a flagrant foul, a turnover, and missed two free throws. Those mishaps gave point guard Josh Stolar (17 pts) and his Rebels squad just enough space to regain the lead and take the game 60-56.
“Our team was extremely determined to beat Red River,” Friesen (7 pts, 11 rbds) commented. “We had a certain confidence to our pregame talk and felt like we were going to beat them. We stayed within 10 points for the entire game, and eventually jumped out on them, but a few small defensive lapses and unfavorable calls in the last minute led us to the loss.”
“But we still have a couple more chances at them, and I know I speak for the entire team when I say that we are looking forward to those games.”
Notes: Sophomore post Joel Coursey picked up a double-double in Saturday’s loss with 18 points and 10 rebounds…the Freemen play again this weekend when they travel to Minnesota to play North Central University and the Faith Eagles.
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