Park boys’ basketball ends season with win

Park places second in conference


Lucy zumBrunnen

Junior Cole Ewald works his way around the opposing team in hopes of scoring. This was Park’s last game before Sections. The game took place March 1 and Park won 55-41. Its next game takes place at 7 p.m. March 8 at Osseo High School against Hopkins.

Kate Schneider

Coach David Breitenbucher said despite low expectations for Park basketball, the team had one of their best seasons and heads into Sections with a positive outlook.

“Some people picked us to be at the bottom of the conference, we finished right at the top. Then we got a good seed in Sections — we were the fourth team. So it was a great season,” Breitenbucher said.

Junior Erik Piehl said he believes the team had an overall very strong season thanks to their long winning streak towards the end of the season.

“I think the season went really well, especially the last half of the season. We won the last like 14 or 15 games and we did really well in the conference. Even though we would’ve liked to have gotten first in our conference, we got second which is still pretty good,” Piehl said.

According to senior Jacob Houts, the team had a rough start to the game Friday, but it came together in the second half to beat Bloomington Kennedy 55-41.

“We didn’t play too good in the first half, we didn’t play very well as a team. Everyone was trying to do their own thing and we weren’t playing defense,” Houts said. “In the second half, we picked it up, started playing together. That’s why the score ended up the way it was.”

Breitenbucher said while the team started the game off by scoring a few points, the team’s defense was not able to perform well throughout the entire game.


“First half, we came out and we hit a couple three-pointers and I think we kind of relaxed a little bit on the defensive end. We have the tendency to relax, I don’t think we play consistent enough on the defensive end. So I think (we need to work on) more consistency throughout, especially in the first half,” Breitenbucher said.

According to Piehl, the team needs to focus on their defensive playing and shooting technique.

“We could’ve played a lot better defense and not turn it over as much on offense. We also need to be sharper with the ball and making our layups and our free throws,” Piehl said.

Houts said the players have to come out and play their hardest during the entirety of each game and must stay consistent.

“We’ve got to come out and play hard the whole game instead of just in the second half. We can’t pick and choose when we want to play hard,” Houts said.

According to Piehl, the team improved greatly in the second half by focusing more on defensive strategy, which led Park to win the game.

“In the second half, we played a lot better defense, got some steals, and Paris (Johnson) got that big dunk to help us gain momentum and carry us to the win,” Piehl said.

Breitenbucher said the team came together the second half of the game against Kennedy and was much less calm, but they still need to work on playing that way the whole game.

“I think we came out and played pretty well in the second half. We were much more active. We took care of the basketball better in the second half, we didn’t have as many turnovers,” Breitenbucher said. “The first half was ugly but the second half was okay.”

According to Breitenbucher, they are up against some tough teams in Sections, but he believes Park has the talent to beat even their most highly ranked opponent.

“Hopkins is probably the best team, they’re one of the top teams in the state, they’ve always been. So it’s going to be a tough game, but I think the way we’re playing, we’re ready to give them everything we’ve got,” Breitenbucher said.

The boy’s basketball team’s overall record this season was 18-8, according to MN Boys’ Basketball Hub.