Falcons quietly rip off nine of 10
By Nick Clark
It has been a quiet ascent for the Robbinsdale Armstrong boys basketball team, and the Falcons prefer it stay that way.
Lost by many in the aftermath of an ugly road loss in Osseo Jan. 8, Armstrong has suddenly won five straight games since then.
That included a come-from-behind overtime victory at then eighth-ranked Elk River, and wins this past week vs. Blaine and at Andover.
It has also reasserted the Falcons affirmation that what they were doing before getting drilled by 31 points in Osseo not only works, but wins games as well.
“We just have to kind keep doing what works for us,” said head coach Greg Miller. “There is nothing fancy about it. Every game is a grind. You just have to keep playing, and we’ve done a good job of staying focused on that.”
It couldn’t have been easy following that trip to Osseo.
Armstrong had won four straight heading into the night, and viewed the road trip to play the defending state champs as a true mid-season measuring stick.
But behind the leadership of the eight seniors that flood Armstrong’s roster with experience, the defeat turned into nothing more that small bump on the way to what is now an 11-4 overall record.
“You can tell we have senior leadership, that is for sure,” said Miller. “These guys don’t let us get too far off track. They’ve all been through this, and they’ve really shown us that we can handle some adversity. I don’t know how many times we’ve come from behind to win this year, but it has been a lot.”
They did just that early last week, when Armstrong trailed by a point at the half against Blaine. But senior Mitchell Biewen went off in the second half, scoring all 17 of his points in leading the Falcons to the 63-56 win.
Konnor Goettsche added 16 points in the win, and Nick O’Hara had 10.
The Falcons led most of the night against Andover, taking a nine-point advantage at the half en route to the 14-point victory.
O’Hara led the way with 16 points. Evan Nolan had 14, and both J.J. Morris and Cyrus Moore-Brown added nine each.
Considering what is coming on the schedule, both victories were vital.
Armstorng begins what will likely be the most difficult five-game stretch is plays all season this week. The Falcons hosted No. 1 Park Center Jan. 29 and then headed to Champlin Park for a 7 p.m. start Thursday, Jan. 31.
Next week, the boys host Maple Grove Feb. 5 and then fifth-ranked Eden Prairie Feb. 8, and the Falcons will being the week after that by hosting No. 4 Osseo Feb. 12.
Combined, those five teams had a 61-15 record heading into this week, and four of them (Park Center, Champlin Park, Maple Grove and Osseo) are responsible for the four losses Armstorng has on its resume thus far.
“It is going to be a really difficult five games,” said Miller. “We’d like to try and knock off one of the big boys in there. We get both Park Center and Osseo on our home court. Hopefully that helps. But either way, it is going to be a really tough stretch.”