Cloquet junior guard Jack Battaglia exploded for 38 points as the Lumberjacks blitzed winless Hibbing 113-83 at Cloquet Middle School Gym on Thursday night. Shaze Henagin contributed 24 points and Seth Rothamel 20 for the Jacks (3-4), who visit Cromwell-Wright Dec. 27. Battaglia, a deft outside shooter and rising college prospect, is a first-team All-Preseason HowieHanson.com selection.
"Last night was fun, and I’ve got no problem giving up 83 points if we can score 113," said legendary Cloquet coach Steve Battaglia. "Jack shot it well with nine threes and 38 points. Shazae Henagin was good as was Seth Rothamel – honestly everyone was pretty good which is why we scored 113. We felt like we were sloppy and undisciplined in our first meeting with Hibbing so it was nice to jump out to an early lead. I feel like I’ve got a better handle on our rotation and we’ve defined our roles a little more as of late.
"I expect us to continue to get better. We had a ridiculously difficult opening part of our schedule but it exposed a few things that we’ve had to address. In all of our losses, aside from the Esko game, we’ve been tied or up into the second half so we’re not far from closing the gap between us and those at the top of the section. It’s going to be an interesting section race as things get closer to March."
Other Up North players and top college prospects to watch are Cherry ultra-elites Isaac Asuma, a Gophers recruit, and power forward Noah Asuma and Hermantown forward Abe Soumis.
Other Thursday prep results of local interest:
Esko fell to nonconference Minneapolis North 75-70, despite 26 points from Koi Perich and 17 from Dalton Spindler. The Eskomos (3-1) will host Hinckley-Finlayson Tuesday night ... Lawrence Oberg scored 19 points to lead Chisholm to a decisive 78-48 home victory over Walker-Hackensack-Akley ... Adam Nuemann and Nolan Nelson each scored 25 points to lead Moose Lake-Willow River past host Pine City 98-50.
Duluth East fell to 2-8 following an 8-6 loss at Coon Rapids.
TODAY'S GAME TO WATCH
Boys Hockey – Class 2A/No. 9 Rosemount (8-1) at Class 1A/No. 1 Hermantown (4-0-2), 7 p.m. Historic Hermantown Arena (MNHockey.TV)