Both Little Falls and Mora’s boys basketball defenses were very aggressive, making it tough for scorers in Mora’s 49-45 victory on Thursday, Jan. 6. Mora made the better adjustments to Little Falls’ dribble attack to make the difference in the outcome of the game. 

Mora started utilizing their weak side defense to stop the Flyers’ dump off passes, which gave them some easy buckets in the first half. 

“In the second half, we ran our defense as it should have looked and moved. That was something we struggled with in the first half,” said head coach Curt Grachek.  

Little Falls only scored seven field goals in the second half. In contrast, Mora only had eight field goals in the second half. “Little Falls does a really good job of switching their defenses throughout the game. We had to constantly adjust and switch our offense to adjust to their defense, preventing us from getting in a good rhythm offensively,” said Grachek.  

Because both teams brought their “A” defensive-game, turnovers played a big role in the game. Little Falls forced Mora to turn the ball over 19 times, and Mora turned Little Falls over 14 times.  

The Mustangs did a great job of sharing the ball throughout the game, featuring 10 assists and three different players contributing double-digit points. Grachek said, “We are doing a good job finding our open teammates. We’ve been improving in that area throughout the season and I see us getting better at trusting each other.” 

Sharing and trusting each other led to Dallas Fix, Gage Braidey and Max Sampson each scoring 10 points. James Oslin was close behind with eight points and hauled in eight rebounds. Max Balmer had five points, Jonah Smart had four points and 10 rebounds, and Dom Beaulieu scored two. Austin Neu led Little Falls with 12 points with their second leading scorer, Zach Gwost, contributing eight. 

Grachek commented about the team following the game, “It wasn’t the prettiest win but we got the job done. As inexperienced as this team is, we continue to learn from every game.” 

Despite their inexperience on the varsity court, Mora will take their 8-2 record and face East Central on Thursday, Jan. 13 and Friday, Jan. 14 vs a hot Milaca team, at home. 

Granite Ridge Conference Standings

Albany 8-2

Milaca 8-2

Mora 8-2

Cathedral 3-4

Foley 3-5

Little Falls 2-6

Pierz 4-6

Zimmerman  1-6

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