Vikes fighting for postseason positioning
Eli Thorness goes in for a shot against Browning’s Maurice Redhorn III (2) and Thomas Young Running Crane (10) Thursday. (Kristy Pancoast photo)
For the Eagle | February 8, 2024 10:45 AM
The final seeding in Northwest A is far from determined as the Vikings enter the final week of their regular season.
A win over Polson last Tuesday and tough double-overtime loss to Browning Thursday left the Vikings with a tenuous hold on third place with a 5-5 conference mark, but Bigfork could still finish anywhere from second to fifth as the last few games of the regular season unfold.
Bigfork got 19 points and six rebounds from Eli Thorness to go along with 16 points and eight boards from Asher Knopik last Tuesday as the Vikings cruised to a 61-41 win at Polson.
Bigfork won the scoring battle in each quarter, building a 33-21 halftime lead before outscoring the Pirates by eight in the second half.
Cole Knopik and Austin Savik both added six points and three rebounds in the win while Jack Jensen added six points, six assists and six rebounds.
Wyatt Johnson had three points and five assists,Colin Wade chipped in three points and three assists and Quinn Herring had two points.
Twenty four of Bigfork’s 61 points came from beyond the arc in the win as the Vikings knocked down eight of 24 shots from three-point range.
After taking down the Running Indians by just two points in their previous meeting, the Vikings found themselves in another close battle as they hosted Browning Thursday.
Bigfork grabbed the early advantage, outscoring Browning 17-11 in the opening quarter before opening up a 38-26 halftime advantage.
The scores were exactly reversed in the next two quarters as the Indians battled their way back to tie the score at 64 at the end of regulation, with Bigfork losing Thorness to a season-ending knee injury along the way.
A back-and-forth battle ensued in the first overtime as neither team could break away and the score remained knotted at 75 after four extra minutes.
Browning was able to build a small cushion at the end of the second overtime to pull out an 85-81 win.
Asher Knopik’s 24 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists led the Bigfork effort while Jensen added 16 points and eight rebounds.
Cole Knopik finished with 13 points, Thorness had nine, Savik scored eight, Wade had six points and Johnson finished with five.
The Vikings travel to face Ronan Thursday before taking on Whitefish in the regular season finale Saturday.