SHERBURN - The Martin County West Mavericks went on a 14-4 scoring run in the first eight minutes of Friday night's Valley Conference game against the Truman/Martin Luther BluejayKnights in Sherburn.
The Mavericks would not relinquish their lead, going on to the 62-40 victory.
MCW senior guard Mitch Sitzmann was the first to light up the scoreboard by hitting a shot near the elbow before sinking a spot-up 3 from the top of the key for a 5-0 lead.
SLAMMIN’ — Martin County West center Kyle Brolsma slam dunks the basketball as Maverick teammates Mitch Sitzmann (2) and Austin Krumwiede (23), along with Truman/Martin Luther’s Jeremy Smith (3), Cade Ekstrom (middle) and DaMarko Thomas (5), watch during Valley Conference action Friday night in Sherburn. Photo by Leanna Becker
Austin Krumwiede, who netted a double-double of 17 points and 15 rebounds, powered through the lane for a quick two and a 7-0 lead for the Mavericks.
Truman/Martin Luther senior post player DaMarko Thomas finally ended the scoreless streak, sinking a free throw after being fouled under the basket.
Krumwiede then scored nine more points on his way to 11 in the opening half - to go along with 10 rebounds - to help the Mavericks take a commanding 25-13 lead.
"I thought that we played well tonight. Mitch Sitzmann and Krum had great games," said Martin County West head coach Cliff Anderson. "We thought our pressure might cause them some problems and it helped us to get up early."
With Truman/Martin Luther trailing 14-4 with just over 10 minutes remaining in the first half, head coach Roland Wendt called a timeout, hoping to stall the Mavericks' momentum.
The pause only gave MCW a chance for to catch its collective breath.
Despite BluejayKnights point guard Cade Ekstrom's offensive efforts - eight of TML's 13 first-half points -the Mavericks held onto the lead.
"Truman/Martin Luther is a scrappy team. They kept fighting and kept the game close. I've gotta give them credit for that," said Anderson.
The offenses really exploded in the second half, with both teams scoring fast-break baskets.
Tyler Wille scored his lone basket of the game for Truman/Martin Luther, and a Maverick turnover on the next possession led to a quick Ekstrom layup with just under nine minutes left in the game to cut the deficit to 40-27.
Fortunately for MCW, where Krumwiede left off in the first half, Maverick teammate Jake Faber picked right up, scoring 12 points on four 3s to keep the wind out of the BluejayKnights' sails.
"I think that we could have shot better," Anderson said in reference to MCW's 17-for-38 shooting performance. "Our team defense has been one of our strengths all year, and I thought that even though our shots weren't falling, the guys were still playing hard on defense for us."
The Maverick defense helped limit TML to just 40 points and allowed 22 rebounds en route the 62-40 victory.
Sitzmann tallied 14 points to go along with four rebounds, while Faber scored 12 points to go along with eight rebounds. Kyle Brolsma, who battled through foul trouble, recorded eight points and grabbed seven rebounds for MCW.
Ekstrom led the Truman/Martin Luther scoring effort with 17 points, while Sam Geistfeld added 10 points and seven boards.
DaMarko Thomas tallied seven points and pulled down seven rebounds for the BluejayKnights.
Martin County West (4-0, 3-0 Valley) travels to Fairmont for a nonconference game on Tuesday night.
Truman/Martin Luther (3-2, 0-2) travels to St. James for a nonconference game on Tuesday night.
Cleveland 68, Granada-Huntley-East Chain 53 - Tommy Kraft produced a game-best 23 points to help trigger the Clippers' 68-53 Valley Conference victory over the Mustangs on Friday night in Cleveland.
Josh Plonsky chipped in 16 points for Cleveland, which outscored GHEC by a 37-23 margin in the second half after leading by just one at the break.
Ryan Shumski collected a double-double of 21 points and 11 rebounds to pace the Mustangs' effort, while teammate Konnor Kristenson netted 10 points, seven boards and three assists.
Josh Johansen scored nine points for GHEC, Jared Green pulled down eight rebounds, while Dylan Petrowiak distributed five assists.
The Mustangs made 18 of 41 shots from 2-point range, only 3 of 17 behind the arc and 8 of 12 at the free throw line.
Granada-Huntley-East Chain (1-4, 1-2 Valley) travels to Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial on Thursday night.
Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial 60, Madelia 44 - Michael Coates scored 11 points to guide the Knights to a 16-point Valley Conference victory over the Blackhawks on Friday night in Madelia.
Zach Baumgartner, Jack Bergeman and Derrick Van Hee each scored eight points to pace Madelia.
Madelia (2-4, 1-2 Valley) travels to Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton on Tuesday night, while Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial (4-1, 3-0) travels to Fairmont tonight for a 7:30 p.m. non-league game.
North Union 49, Harris-Lake Park 35 - Point guard Cheyanne Boland collected 14 points, three assists and two steals to propel the Warriors to a 14-point Corn Belt Conference triumph over the Wolves on Friday night in Armstrong.
Dena Looft contributed 11 points, four rebounds and two steals to North Union's winning ways, while Peyton Oleson netted seven points and three assists.
Sarah Rolling garnered six rebounds for the Warriors, Madison Irmiter pulled down five boards, while Aurora Oliver made two steals.
North Union scorched the nets on 16 of 30 shooting from 2-point range for 53 percent, hit 3 of 8 from behind the arc and added 8 of 18 at the free throw line.
North Union (5-3, 2-1 Corn Belt) faces West Hancock on Monday night in Britt, Iowa.
HLP 9 7 9 10 - 35
NU 11 11 20 7 - 49
Minnesota Valley Lutheran 76, Martin County West 72 - The Chargers had three players score in double digits to pace a 76-72 nonconference victory over the Mavericks on Friday night in New Ulm.
Alexa Alfred led MVL with 16 points, while teammates Sarah Burk and Anna Munsen scored 13 and 12 points, respectively.
Taryn Tumbleson led all scorers with 25 points for the Mavericks. Tumbleson also secured eight steals and gathered six rebounds.
Katie Thiesse landed in double digits with 15 points, while Whitney Smith tallied 10. Thiesse also pulled down nine rebounds for the Mavericks.
Reilly Geistfeld recorded eight points and eight rebounds for MCW.
MVL sank 25 of 33 free throws in the win, while MCW went 17-for-27 from the charity stripe.
The Mavericks shot 26 of 72 from the floor on the game.
Martin County West (6-1, 4-0 Valley) plays host to Martin Luther in a conference game on Tuesday night in Trimont.
Minnesota Valley Lutheran (7-0) plays host to Sleepy Eye on Tuesday night in New Ulm.
Waseca 52, Blue Earth Area 38 - The Bluejays improved to 3-0 in the South Central Conference via a 14-point victory over the Bucs on Friday night in Waseca.
No individual statistics were reported.
Blue Earth Area (4-1, 1-1 SCC) travels to Medford on Tuesday night for a nonconference contest, while Waseca (7-1, 3-0) hits the road to Austin on Thursday night.