Ashby boys off to 7-1 start

The Arrows return a huge nucleus from their 19-1 team last season, with athletes who also gained a lot of valuable experience in helping the West Central Area-Ashby football team to a second-place finish at the Class AA state championship this past fall.

Jacob Cook

The Ashby boys basketball team is off to a 7-1 start to its season after back-to-back easy wins over Underwood and Bertha-Hewitt late last week.

The Arrows beat Underwood (1-8) 74-31 on Thursday before a 62-33 win over Bertha-Hewitt (2-8) a day later. Jacob Cook, a 6-foot, 6-inch senior forward, combined for 47 points and 16 rebounds in the two games.

“I think we’re playing pretty good half-court defense,” Ashby head coach John Holsten said of the key to the Arrows’ 7-1 start. “We’re limiting most teams to one shot and applying pretty good ball pressure.”

Ashby went 19-1 last season and returns a big group of athletes from that team. The Arrows had nine players who were also a part of the West Central Area-Ashby football team that just made a run to the Class AA state title game in the fall.

Ashby gave those guys a week off between seasons, with Holsten noting that he was grateful for teams on their early-season schedule allowing them to postpone a couple games at the beginning of the season.


The experience of having such a successful season in football is something Holsten believes has made an impact in basketball too.

“I think we’re finding out we have a lot of competitors,” he said. “We’re strong, but we’re kind of calm about it. We’re not anxious, we’re not panicking.”

The Arrows have five straight road games on the schedule with three this week. Ashby is at Swanville on Monday night before going to Parkers Prairie on Thursday and Battle Lake on Friday.


ASHBY - Carson Spanger - 5 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 steal; Hunter Norby - 10 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 steals; Torin Olson - 12 points, 2 rebounds, 1 steal; Jacob Cook - 26 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 4 steals; Carter Spangler - 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals; Brodie Ecker - 4 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals; Jackson Finkelson - 2 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 1 steal; Bradee Christianson - 2 points, 1 steal; Mattson Hoff - 6 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist; Sam Sorenson - 4 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist; Easton Nelson - 2 points, 1 assist; Evan Paulson - 6 points, 1 rebound


ASHBY - Carson Spanger - 2 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 4 steals; Hunter Norby - 17 points, 13 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal; Torin Olson - 12 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 steals; Jacob Cook - 21 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists; Carter Spangler - 4 rebounds; Brodie Ecker - 2 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist; Jackson Finkelson - 2 points, 2 rebounds; Mattson Hoff - 1 rebound; Sam Sorenson - 4 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist; Sam Heeter - 1 rebound, 1 assist; Evan Paulson - 2 points


Eric Morken is a sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press Newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota, a property of the Forum News Service. Morken covers a variety of stories throughout the Douglas County area, as well as statewide outdoor issues.
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