Flivvers put it on cruise control

GLADSTONE – The Kingsford Flivvers outscored the Gladstone Braves 25-10 in the first half Friday night, and they just put it into cruise control the rest of the way as they drove out of Gladstone with the 64-34 Great Northern Conference victory.

Gladstone got off to an unusually slow start, and their sloppy passing and inability to hit shots was compounded by the fact that Kingsford was able to get into the paint with relative ease.

“It was a great start,” said Kingsford coach Dan Olkkonen. “We really liked the focus and our defensive play.”

Although the Flivvers had 10 turnovers in the first half alone, it really didn’t cost them much, because the Braves weren’t able to convert those mistakes into baskets.

“We were totally out of sync and rhythm,” said Gladstone coach Phil Griebel. “We were just playing very slow and flat. I thought we came out and played a lot harder in the third quarter, and we had a couple chances to make some shots and get closer, but they just didn’t go in for us. And I think (Kingsford) hit every shot that they took in the quarter. We were never able to get any momentum.”

The Braves managed to cut the lead down to 10 in the third, but it was still just too high to trade baskets back and forth, and that was the closest they got for the remainder of the contest.

“Every time we got a bucket, they got one right back,” Griebel said.

With the win, Kingsford improves to 5-2 while Gladstone falls to 5-3.

“It was a great thing to see the kids really come together tonight,” Olkkonen said. “It was by far our best game of the season from start to finish.”

Caleb Harrington of the Flivvers led all scorers with 21 points, including two second quarter triples that helped to build some distance between the two teams.

Gladstone edged Kingsford in the jayvee game 54-51.

The Braves resume Tuesday, hosting Gwinn.