Chatfield boys run into state-ranked teams to open 2020

Bill Bentson

The Chatfield boys basketball team faced some major challenges last week, going to Blooming Prairie (4-0, No. 14 in state) on Thursday and traveling to Caledonia (10-0, No. 2) on Friday.  Undefeated teams, state ranked and long bus rides?  That would be a challenge.

The Gophers ended up with two losses and dropped to 1-8 overall, 0-5 against Three Rivers Conference opponents.  They are 0-2 against teams in the East division.

In Thursday’s 64-34 loss to the Awesome Blossoms 64-34, coach Jeff DeBuhr said, “We took some steps backwards with some bad turnovers and letting mistakes get into our heads.”

The team shot 27.1 percent (13/48) from the field against BP, the Gophers’ worst output of the season, and they were just two of 16 from three-point range, at 12.5 percent.  The guys were six for 12 (50.0%) at the free throw line.

Chatfield had one player in double-figures, Reid Johnson with 13.  Johnson also had seven rebounds (tied for team-high), two assists (tied for team-high) and two steals (team-high).  Next in scoring was David Castleberg with five, Cole Johnson with four, Landon Bance and Drew Schindler with three each, Braden Thompson and Chance Backer with two each, and Sam Backer and Sam Stevens with one point each.

Castleberg also had seven rebounds while Sam Backer added three. Cole Johnson had two assists.

The offense improved against Caledonia, as the team scored 69 points, but the defense allowed 101. 

“We rallied a bit Friday against Caledonia and brought a fight,” commented coach DeBuhr. “In the first half we battled back multiple times to stay in the game, but eventually they took over the game.  They had a great player, Noah King, who scored 36 points.  However, I was pleased with our competitiveness, as we didn’t back down and we are planning to use that attitude to carry into our next games.”

Chatfield had four players in double-digit scoring: Reid Johnson (23), Cole Johnson (11), Bance (18) and Castleberg (10).  Reid Johnson hit 10 of 18 shots, Cole Johnson was five for 14, Bance hit seven of 16 and Castleberg connected on five of seven.  Bance was four for nine from three-point range and Reid Johnson hit two of five from beyond the arc.  The team was just four of 11 at the free throw line: Reid Johnson (1/1), Chance Backer (3/6). 

Others making it into the scorebook: Henry Gathje (2), Chance Backer (3) and Ben Fretland (2).

Chance Backer and Cole Johnson led the team with seven rebounds each, with five boards for Castleberg, four each for Bance and Gathje and three for Reid Johnson

Cole Johnson led the team with six assists and Reid Johnson had a team-high three steals.

This past Monday the team was in Pine Island and Thursday the Gophers will host Lewiston-Altura.  Tuesday, Jan. 14, the team will be in Preston to take on Fillmore Central.