TRUMAN - Granada-Huntley-East Chain junior Ryan Shumski came off the bench in the first half to score 16 of his game-high 22 points to help the Mustangs earn a 69-52 Valley Conference Showcase basketball victory over Truman/Martin Luther on Monday night in Truman.
GHEC quickly grabbed an 8-3 lead, but BluejayKnight guard Cade Ekstrom jumped into the passing lane and drove the length of the court to cut the lead to three with a layup.
After that, Dylan Petrowiak and Shumski caught fire by shooting a combined 8-for-17 in the opening 18 minutes, including a combined perfect 9 of 9 from the charity stripe.
CHALLENGE — Granada-Huntley-East Chain’s Ryan Shumski (24) challenges a 3-pointer by Truman/Martin Luther’s Sam Geistfeld during Valley Conference Showcase basketball action Monday night in Truman. Photo by Leanna Becker
Their offensive performance, along with Josh Johanson's five points and Konnor Kristenson's four points, helped the Mustangs go on a 16-5 scoring run and take a 36-20 halftime lead.
"Offensively, in the first half, we were patient and we moved the ball around and got good looks," said Granada-Huntley-East Chain head coach Scott Chirpich.
Chandler Greier's nine points, along with Ekstrom's eigh in the first half, kept the BluejayKnights within striking distance, but as a team, TML was only 7-for-25 shooting from the floor in the opening frame.
"We kept our defensive pressure up and closed out well in the first half," said Chirpich.
The Mustangs grabbed 17 boards, while allowing the BluejayKnights to snag nine, eventually winning the boards battle, 39-21.
GHEC's stifling defense also held TML junior center Sam Geistfeld to just two points and one rebound in the first half.
In the second half, Jeremy Smith gave the BluejayKnights an offensive spark by scoring all of his co-team-high 11 points, and snared a pair of steals out of the full-court press to wreak havoc on the cruising Mustangs.
Geistfeld aided Smith on the offensive end, scoring 10 points, including a trio of baskets off of Mustang turnovers at the midway point of the second half.
"We went away from what worked for us in the first half, and we weren't taking good care of the ball," said Chirpich. "It was good we built up that lead in the first half. We had some room for mistakes, but need to take better care of the ball."
Despite the BluejayKnight pressure and turnovers, the Mustangs were able to capitalize on the TML fouls in the final minutes of the game, making 13 of 18 from the free throw line.
Trent Stensland grabbed a game-high 11 boards and made 3 of 4 free throws for the Mustangs for three of his five points in the win.
Logan Pytleski, who grabbed five rebounds in the second half for the Mustangs, also made all four of his free throws to finish with eight points.
Greier finished with a team-high 16 points for TML while Geistfeld finished with 12 points and five rebounds.
Ekstrom and Smith each had 11 points for the BluejayKnights.
Granada-Huntley-East Chain (5-12) hosts St. Clair in a 7:30 p.m. Showcase game on Thursday at East Chain School.
Truman/Martin Luther (11-10) travels to Cleveland for a 7:30 p.m. Showcase game on Thursday.
Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial 77, Martin County West 66 - Bryson Yackel and Sam Krahling combined for 44 points to guide the Knights to an 11-point Valley Conference Showcase victory over the Mavericks on Monday night in Lake Crystal.
Yackel scored a game-best 23 points, while Krahling supplied 21 points. Lucas Hesser chipped in 12 points, while Michael Coates added 10 points for LCWM.
The Knights held the pivotal edge at the free throw line, sinking 23 of 29 charity tosses. The Mavericks only shot 11 total free throws, making six on the game.
Cordell Weber and Jake Faber each delivered 17 points to top MCW, while teammate Austin Krumwiede produced a double-double performance of 15 points and 11 rebounds.
The Mavericks made 26 of 63 field goals overall, while the Knights blistered the nets on 18 of 27 shots from 2-point range and 6 of 23 from behind the 3-point arc.
Martin County West (15-4) plays host to Mankato Loyola on Thursday night in Sherburn in another Valley Showcase game.
St. Peter 64, Blue Earth Area 61 - Peter Kruize delivered a game-best 26 points to help the Class 2A, No. 6-ranked Saints stave off the Bucs by three points during South Central Conference action Monday night in Blue Earth.
Brandyn Olsen produced 16 points, five assists and three steals to help keep Blue Earth Area within one point at halftime (32-31).
Isaac Darrington neared double-double territory for the Bucs by garnering 15 points and eight rebounds, while teammate Luke Monson supplied 12 points. Dallas Barslou added nine points and five assists.
Tom Steidler contributed 12 points and eight rebounds to the Saints' winning ways, while Josh Peymann supplied 12 points and four assists.
Blue Earth Area (7-9, 2-5 SCC) travels to St. James tonight for another conference contest, while St. Peter (17-2, 6-1) hits the road to New Ulm tonight for another league game.
St. Peter 32-32-64
B.E. Area 30-31-61