Cambridge-Isanti boys basketball created large leads in each half, then the team held off a late Princeton rally to secure a 78-70 Mississippi 8 victory at home Jan. 10.
The night began with a nice tribute to the late Bob Theis who refereed many basketball games and wrote sports for both the Cambridge Star and Isanti County News for many years. The Bluejackets came out ripping from long range as Kyle McDonald, Matt Swanson and Jake Johnson all knocked down three-pointers while creating an early 22-6 edge on the Tigers.
Jack Sinkel’s shots from the arc helped bring Princeton back to within 28-21, and the game became a foul-filled affair with 23 fouls called in the first half, but neither team could take much advantage at the line. The C-I boys finished the half with a good burst, including Swanson taking it to the hole at the buzzer for a 42-25 lead at the break.
The Bluejackets began the second half using their muscle inside for a handful of layups off assists from McDonald, Swanson and Evan Dunbar as they expanded their lead to 62-35. Princeton began slicing that edge a bit, then the Tigers went on an 18-4 run, knocking down three ‘3s’ in that stretch, to get to within 75-70 with 1:23 to play.
Swanson’s layup for his 23rd point gave C-I a little more breathing room, and Cox added a free throw with 30 seconds left for the final point in the victory.
Swanson doubled up with 14 rebounds and led the Jackets with three steals. Also scoring in double figures were Cox (12), Johnson (11) and Hunter Vavra (10), with McDonald scoring 8 and Devin Malik 6. Sinkel scored 25 for the Tigers, with Brady Peterson adding 21.
• On Jan. 14, St. Francis got 33 points from 6″ Jake Johnson in a 74-52 win over Cambridge-Isanti. Leading scorers for the Bluejackets were McDonald (17), Cox (13) and Malik (10).
Mississippi 8 Boys Basketball: East: St. Francis 4-0, 11-3; Cambridge-Isanti 2-1, 8-4; Chisago Lakes 2-1, 6-7; North Branch 1-4, 4-9; Princeton 0-4, 4-8. West: Buffalo 4-0, 9-5; Big Lake 2-2, 10-4; Monticello 2-2, 8-5; St. Michael-Alb. 2-3, 5-9; Rogers 0-2, 4-8.