Knights lose third-straight at Totino-Grace

By Matthew Davis
Contributing Writer

Irondale broke an eight-game losing streak in downing Spring Lake Park on Jan. 27, but the Knights haven’t won since.

A string a challenging opponents in the Northwest Suburban Conference can do that. The Knights (5-14, 1-11) lost 71-54 at Blaine on Tuesday, Jan. 31 followed by a 74-68 defeat at Osseo on on Friday, Feb. 3. It turned into a three-game skid with a 90-76 loss at Totino-Grace on Monday, Feb. 6.

Charlie Jacob led Totino-Grace (11-8, 5-7) with 26 points as the Eagles cruised against the Knights. The Eagles built a 52-33 lead in the first half, which didn’t resemble the Knights stronger showing against Osseo three days earlier.

“We got off to a good start and maintained it most of the game,” Knights coach Jon DeMars said about the Osseo contest.

Osseo held a 37-35 lead at the break and had to sweat it out against the Knights in the second half. Sean Sutherlin led the Knights with 29 points, and Sonam Paichang added 20. Aden Price chipped in eight.

“We made a couple of mistakes in the final two minutes that cost us the game,” DeMars said. “Overall, we were pleased with how we competed against one of the better teams in the conference and the state.”

Osseo (13-6, 7-5) held off the Knights with 18 points from Maurice Nelson, 13 from Matt Bezdicek and 12 from Zach Theisen. Irondale didn’t contain Totino-Grace’s top scorers that way on Feb. 6 as three Eagles hit for 16 or more points, and four finished in double figures.

Rocky Krueser scored 17 points for the Eagles and Nathan Kavolak 16 to compliment Jacob’s 26. Will Schmidt added 10. Nick Flottmeier chipped in nine, and Zach Ban put in six.

Sutherlin had the game high for points, 36, in the rout, but only one other Knights player hit double figures with 15 from Price. Brendan White had eight points, and Daudi Simon and Paichang had six apiece.

Irondale managed to whittle the deficit, outscoring the Eagles 43-38 in the second half. Totino-Grace won its second-straight contest after losses to Osseo and Robbinsdale Armstrong.

Totino-Grace got its streak going with a 98-69 rout of Spring Lake Park on Feb. 3. Krueser led the Eagles with 21 points, and Kavolak posted 20. Scmidt and Braeden Mischke each had 11.

Irondale also beat SLP recently, a 73-67 win on Jan. 27. Sutherlin led the Knights with 17 points, and Kiaren Ward had 13. Price added 12, and White posted 11.
The Knights couldn’t get a win streak going though as Blaine rolled Jan. 31 in the 71-54 Irondale loss. Sutherlin had 23 points in that game, but no other Irondale player reach double figures.

“Their size bothered us,” DeMars said. “We also shot poorly, 3-18 from three. We missed a number of lay-ups, and it cost us.”

Irondale will try to regroup this week, but the Knights face No. 2-ranked Maple Grove at home on Thursday at 7 p.m. The Knights then face NWSC West Division leading Robbinsdale Armstrong on Tuesday, Feb. 14 at 7 p.m.

Contact Sun Focus sports writers at sunfocus@ecm-inc.com.