The Lakeville South Boys Varsity Basketball team took a loss on Tuesday, Feb. 14, falling 60-75 to the rival Lakeville North Panthers. With tough losses to top teams like Maple Grove, Wayzata and Hopkins earlier in the season, it looks to Cougar fans that the team is unable to overcome crucial hurdles. According to coach Nick Gruhlke, players were quick to dismiss the big rivalry defeat. He cited that South had “just won 6 games in a row,” gaining confidence along the way.
Their next game is Friday, Feb. 17 against the top-5 state ranked Apple Valley Eagles. Gruhlke commented on facing the Eagles, mentioning that “We first started playing well this season when we played [Apple Valley].” When asked how to defeat the Eagles, Gruhlke said, “We don’t plan to change much…we’ve played really hard defensively.” “We just have to keep doing that,” in order to be successful. “We can’t lose focus.” Having that hard schedule could potentially prepare the Cougars better for the playoffs coming in the next month.
Although it seems like an uphill battle with some teams having nearly 10 more wins than them, players and coaches remain determined. The confidence developed with their 6 game winning streak appears to be continuing through tough times. By having more focus, the South Boys Varsity Basketball Team can capitalize on potential playoff opportunities, starting against the Apple Valley Eagles on Feb 17.