In it together: Blossoms stay hot, share the joy in win over Medford

Jan. 22—BLOOMING PRAIRIE — It's a scene that's become very familiar for the Blooming Prairie boys basketball team.

The Awesome Blossoms had already secured a victory, but their starting lineup was still locked in and the student section was going wild. That's because they were busy cheering on the BP reserves as the team put the finishing touches in an 80-17 win over Medford (0-6 overall) Monday.

"I think sometimes our guys like cheering on their teammates at the end of the games more than they like actually playing," BP head coach Cam Rutledge said. "It's good to see and we've got a bunch of good teammates and our fan section wanted to see those bench guys get in there and score as well."

The game saw some highlight steals, dunks and threes as BP (15-0 overall) jumped out to a 22-2 lead early on, but it was the joy the Blossoms took in their teammate's success that stole the spotlight.

"We're all really close friends and we want to give everyone a chance, including the people who don't play as much," said BP senior Tyler Forystek, who scored six points. "We have really good team chemistry. We've had lots of shootarounds and open gyms, where everybody shows up."

While BP is taking care of business, it hasn't faced a lot of tests this season. The Awesome Blossoms, who went just 9-16 overall last season, have outscored their opponents by over 25 points per game and their only two contests decided by less than 10 points were a 57-54 win over JWP on Dec. 15 and a 69-61 win over USC on Dec. 19.

"We put a lot of work in during the offseason and we were expecting to get a little bit better, although I don't know about this much better," said BP senior Kolby Vigeland, who scored five points Monday. "But we definitely put in the work to get here."

Things have been a breeze for much of the first two months of the season, but the Blossoms will have some tougher foes on the horizon in the final month of the regular season. BP will host USC this Friday at 7:15 p.m., it has a tough game at Winona Cotter on Jan. 27 and it has a big matchup at Southland looming on Feb. 12.

"We always say it doesn't matter who we're playing, we've got to go out there and play hard every night," Rutledge said. "We've got to play our game and whatever happens, happens."

BP was led by Gabe Hein, who had 23 points, six rebounds, four steals and four assists and Zack Hein, who had 20 points, four rebounds, three assists, five steals and two blocked shots.

The Section 1A tournament is still a long way away, however, the Awesome Blossoms will have plenty of motivation in March. BP went 25-3 overall and beat Hayfield 59-51 in the Section 1A title game in 2020, but that state tournament was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. BP's only state tournament appearance for boys basketball was in 1966.

"We just keep doing what coach tells us to do and we keep showing up to play," Forystek said.

Medford 8 9 — 17

BP 51 29 — 80

BP scoring: Gabe Hein, 23; Zack Hein, 20; Brady Kittelson, 10; Cooper Cooke, 9; Ty Forystek, 6; Kolby Vigeland, 5; Brad Boyd, 3; Gabe Staloch, 2