MANKATO - Good to the last basket.
The Maple River Eagles fended off the Fairmont Cardinals, 66-62, to capture top honors at the Pepsi Holiday boys basketball tournament Saturday night in Mankato.
Point guard Michael Lewis scored 14 points to help the Eagles defend their Bethany Lutheran College-sponsored tourney crown, while wing Jaron Denn, post player Brian Doering and guard Ben Larson each contributed 12 points to the winning performance.
SQUARING?UP — Fairmont forward Levi Becker looks to pass against Maple River defender Zach Krengel in the championship game of the Bethany Lutheran College Tournament on Saturday in Mankato. Photo by Leanna Becker
Guard Mitch Pfingsten delivered a game-leading 23 points, including 16 during the first half, to pace the Cardinals' runner-up tourney showing for a second straight year.
Forward Levi Becker contributed nine points and three assists to Fairmont's effort, while wing Josh Eversman supplied six points and seven rebounds.
Ryan Noll, Luke Hested and Luke Becker each chipped in five points for the Cardinals, while Jay Ruen and Noll each distributed three assists.
Fairmont connected on 22 of 47 shots from 2-point distance, 9 of 20 from behind the 3-point arc and 9 of 16 at the free throw line.
Zach Krengel netted 10 points for Maple River, which hit 26 of 53 field goals from 2-point range, 7 of 15 from 3-point distance and 7 of 15 from the charity stripe.
The Cardinals, which committed only seven turnovers on the game, rallied from a 48-36 second-half deficit to eventually knot the game at 50-all. The Eagles, however, prevailed down the stretch.
Fairmont (7-3) plays host to New Ulm on Friday night at Cardinal Gym, while Maple River (7-2) entertains Nicollet on Thursday night in Mapleton.
Maple River 37-29-66
Windom Holiday Classic
Windom 63, Martin County West 58 - Collin Lovell and Andy Pfeffer each contributed 15-point performances to help break the 27-27 tie at halftime to give the Eagles a 63-58 victory over the Mavericks in the championship game of the Windom Classic on Saturday in Windom.
The duo, along with Nathan Remmers, scored 12 points to lead the Eagles' winning efforts.
Martin County West senior Austin Krumwiede scored a game-high 22 points and pulled down eight rebounds to pace the Mavericks offensive efforts.
Cordell Weber tallied 12 points, while Mitch Sitzmann scored in the double figures with 11 points as well.
Kyle Brolsma neared the double-double mark with eight points and eight rebounds for the Mavericks in the game.
The Eagles were spurred on in the second half by a 19 of 26 free throw shooting effort, while the Mavericks sank 8 of 10 from the charity stripe.
Martin County West (6-2) travels to Jackson for a 7:30 p.m. nonconference game against Jackson County Central on Thursday.
Windom Holiday Classic
Martin Luther 52, Blue Earth Area 46 - Martin Luther's Kristi Oberdieck recorded a double-double of 14 points and 12 rebounds to help guide the Knights to a six-point victory over the Bucs during the third-place game at the Windom Holiday Classic on Saturday in Windom.
Effie Bentz tallied 13 points, while Catie Sherman contributed a 12-point performance to Martin Luther's winning ways.
Kayley Shoen also pulled down seven rebounds while scoring six points and making two steals for the Knights.
Oberdieck and Schoen went a perfect 4-for-4 from the charity stripe to add to their scoring efforts, while Sherman and Bentz each made four steals.
Krista Hassing produced a double-double performance of 11 points and 11 rebounds to complement three steals to pace Blue Earth Area.
Ciarra Olson and Shayna Stevermer each supplied six points for the Bucs, who made 18 of 63 field goals and 9 of 17 free throws on the game.
Martin Luther (5-5) faces Granada-Huntley-East Chain on Monday, Jan. 7, at East Chain School.
Blue Earth Area (5-3) travels to St. James on Friday night.
B.E. Area 26-20-46
M. Luther 33-19-52