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Vikings win 2 of 3 in strong week of hoops action

by JEREMY WEBER
For the Eagle | February 1, 2024 10:25 AM


The Vikings put together a strong week of basketball to go 2-1 in their last three games, picking up road wins at Browning a Libby last Tuesday and Thursday before dropping a tough contest at home to Columbia Falls Saturday.

The Vikes got 27 points, five rebounds and four assists from sophomore Asher Knopik, another 13 points from Eli Thorness and 10 points, five assists and four rebounds from Jack Jensen Tuesday as they took down the Running Indians in Browning, 68-66.

Browning jumped out to a 22-16 lead after one quarter and took a 39-31 lead into halftime, but the Vikings outscored the Indians 20-13 in the third to cut their deficit to 52-51. Bigfork put up 17 points to Browning’s 14 over the final eight minutes to earn a tough two-point road victory.

Bigfork put in 24 of its 46 shots in the contest, including going 5 for 10 from three-point range while also knocking down 15 of their 23 free throws.

    Asher Knopik uses a pump fake to get past the Wildcat defense for two of his 26 points Saturday. (Jeremy Weber/Bigfork Eagle)
 
 


Along with the double-digit scorers, Cole Knopik finished with nine points, Colin Wade scored five and added five assists, Dylan Porrovecchio had three points and Wyatt Johnson added two points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals.

The Vikings dominated the final three quarters in Libby Thursday as they cruised to a 70-35 win over the Loggers.

Bigfork got 19 points from Asher Knopik, 15 point and five assists from Wade and 12 points and seven rebounds from Jensen as they jumped out to a 19-12 lead after one quarter before out-scoring the Loggers 51-23 over the final 24 minutes.

Bigfork torched the nets in the victory, shooting 27 of 44 from the field, including a blistering 20 of 28 (71%) from inside the three-point arc.

Bigfork saw one slip away at home Saturday as the Vikings gave up a 12-point second-quarter lead in a 63-51 loss to Columbia Falls.

Bigfork got off to a hot start, turning turnovers into points en route to a 19-8 lead after one quarter of play.

The Vikings continued adding to their lead in the opening minutes of the second quarter, pushing their advantage to 28-16 with four minutes left in the half before the Wildcats went on a 10-0 run to leave Bigfork up only 28-26 at the break.

A three by Wildcat Hunter Hoerner gave Columbia Falls its first lead of the second half with 3:51 to play in the third quarter as the Wildcat surge continued.

A half-court shot from Jensen at the third-quarter buzzer cut the Columbia Falls lead to 41-39, but Bigfork never regained the lead in the final eight minutes as the Wildcats held on for the win.

Asher Knopik led the Vikings in the loss with 26 points while Jensen added 10 points and four rebounds.

Johnson finished with five points and five rebounds, Cole Knopik had four points and five rebounds, Wade scored four and Thorness finished with two points and five rebounds.

The Vikings were in action at Polson after press time Tuesday and will host Browning Thursday with tip-off set for 7:15 p.m.