Nate Skare brings the ball down the court for the Gophers against a Rushford-Peterson defender. SAM CLEMENS/CHATFIELD NEWS
Nate Skare brings the ball down the court for the Gophers against a Rushford-Peterson defender. SAM CLEMENS/CHATFIELD NEWS
Chatfield ran into two of the top boys basketball teams in the Three Rivers Conference last week, dropping two out of three games to even its record at 3-3.

The win came at Wabasha-Kellogg, which has a record of 3-7, on Friday. Earlier in the week, the Gophers fell to undefeated Rushford-Peterson 58-47 at home and 73-63 on the road to 5-1 Caledonia, which has its only loss against R-P.


Chatfield led 27-24 at the half and then outscored the Falcons 35-26 in the second half to secure the 62-50 win.

"We didn't shoot all that well again, but we played well enough to win," said coach Tom Bance. "We were tied with about nine minutes left and from that point on we played very well. We hit some big shots, played good defense, and made our free throws."

The Gophers were accurate from the line overall, making 15 of 18 free throws. They were 20 for 52 from the field, and made seven of 20 from beyond the three-point line.

Christian Bance made three of his six three-point attempts and was perfect from the line in five attempts as he scored 18 points to lead the team. Nate Skare also made three three-pointers as he scored 14 points.

Also scoring, were Jake Neis with nine points, Jayme LaPlante and Brandon Adler with seven each, Zach Eggers with five and Drew Hurley with two points.

LaPlanted and Skare each had seven rebounds while Adler and Neis each had six as the Gophers had 35 total. Eggers added a couple steals. Seven players had at least one assist with Skare's four and Neis's three leading the way.


The Trojans led 26-16 at the half and then extended the lead by one point as the Gophers played them nearly even in the second half of the 58-47 game. Once the Gophers got down by 12 points, they couldn't reduce the deficit to less than seven points and Rushford-Peterson shot well from the free throw line.

"We played very good defense the entire game but unfortunately we shot poorly again," said Bance.

Chatfield made 15 of 41 shots from the field and 12 of 21 from the free throw line.

LaPlante had a double double with 15 points and 12 rebounds. He made five of 12 from the field and five of seven from the line. Bance and Skare each scored eight points, Eggers added six, Neis and Hurley each had four, and Adler two points.

Skare backed up LaPlante with seven rebounds. Neis had two of the team's four steals. Skare with four and Neis with three led the team in assists.


LaPlante had another double double in the Caledonia game as he scored a team-high 23 points and led the team in rebounding with 12. He made nine of 13 shots from the field and also had three steals and three assists.

Skare was right behind him with 20 points and seven rebounds to go with five assists, which tied for the team high with Neis.

The Gophers got into a hole early, falling behind 44-31 at the half. They outscored the Warriors 32-29 in the second half to end the game behind by 10 at 73-63.

"We got behind early because they shot the ball really well," said Bance. "We made a nice run to cut it to three with about seven minutes left, but some nice plays by them and some untimely turnovers let them get back up by 10 or 12."

Bance added 11 points. Eggers had six points and Ethan Woltz had three points.

Woltz had five rebounds, Bance three, T.J. Moeching and Neis two each, and Eggers and Hurley one each. Moechnig also had a couple steals.

Coming up

The Gophers have a tournament scheduled for this weekend (see related story) and then get back to Three Rivers Conference play at home against Winona Cotter on Jan. 2.