ARMSTRONG - The Emmetsburg boys basketball team took advantage of North Union's slow start to edge the Warriors 77-63 on Monday in Armstrong.
"We have been a slow-starting team this season, and tonight, unfortunately, wasn't much different," said North Union head coach Kurt Fothergill. "We just haven't been able to put together a full four-quarter game."
E'Hawk senior Erik Drost took advantage early and often of the slow starting Warriors, scoring 12 of his game-high 24 points in the opening half.
BOARDWORK — North Union’s Aric Runge yanks down a rebound as Emmetsburg’s Austin Krause (53) and Erik Drost (33) challenge for possession during nonconference basketball action Monday night in Armstrong. North Union’s Kaleb Olson (20), Trent Pedersen (far right) and Colin Runksmeier (third from right), along with Emmetsburg’s Thomas Schultes (55), watch the action. (Photo by Leanna Becker)
Drost caught a pass from Michael Pugh from the wing and twisted around North Union's Aric Runge for the opening basket of the game.
Alex Krantz responded on the other end, nailing a 3-pointer from the corner to help the Warriors keep pace.
Unfortunately for the home team, Emmetsburg rattled off 23 first-quarter points to stake a 10-point lead.
Austin Krause added some depth to the E'Hawks okffense, scoring eight of his 16 points in the opening half as well.
With Drost covered the paint, Krause swished a jumper from the elbow to ensure the E'Hawks 23-13 lead late in the opening quarter.
Runge, who poured in a co-team best 15 points in addition to grabbing 11 boards tried to give the Warriors a presence in the lane.
"In the first half, I think we played too cautiously," said Fothergill. "They had Drost on the inside and we were afraid of getting blocked so we were laying back."
The second half was a different story for the Warriors, who outscored the E'Hawks 44-34, but it was not enough to overcome the 43-19 hafltime deficit.
"We picked up the intensity in the second half, we were definitely more physical and more aggressive. That's how we need to play all the time," said Fothergill.
Jacob Braddock sparked a surge for the Warriors, scoring 10 of his co-team best 15 points in the second half.
Braddock tossed in a pair of free throws after getting fouled driving to the basket, before sinking a pair of jumpers from the baseline to help the Warriors cut the lead to 15.
"We did a nice job of attacking and driving in the second half, and we outscored them, so I hope that this is a learning experience for our team," said Fothergill. "If we come out and are aggressive right away we can stay with teams."
Cody Runksmeier also picked up the offensive production in the final quarter, scoring all 10 of his points.
Runksmeier drove to the basket and was fouled for the traditional three-point play with under five minutes left in the game, helping the Warriors stay within striking distance.
Emmetsburg's Thomas Schultes responded on the other end though, driving for a pair of baskets on back-to-back possessions and going to the line both times.
The E'Hawk freshman made 3 of 4 from the line to keep the visitors' lead secure.
Schultes finished with nine points for Emmetsburg, while Mike Meyers added 15 in the win.
The Warriors' Krantz scored 11 points, while Vaske grabbed nine boards in the game.
North Union (2-10) plays host to Manson-Northwest Webster in a 7:30 p.m. game on Thursday night in Armstrong. Emmetsburg (4-9) plays host to Estherville-Lincoln Central on Friday night.
United South Central 77, Blue Earth Area 76 (OT) - Post player Luke Monson unleashed a single-game school-record 44-point performance to help the Bucs force overtime with the Rebels on Monday night in Blue Earth.
USC guard Nate Pederson's layup with 12 seconds left in the extra session offset BEA guard Conor Barnett's last-second 3-pointer as the Rebels outlasted the Bucs, 77-76, during the nonconference thriller.
Barnett, who finished with 12 points, sank a pair of free throws with 38 seconds remaining in the second half to stake the Bucs to a 65-62 lead.
Walker Linde, who netted 12 points for the Rebels, however, forced overtime by draining a 3-pointer with 15 seconds left in regulation.
USC held a 35-27 halftime lead before Monson delivered 30 of BEA's 38 second-half points to end regulation knotted at 65-all. Monson connected on six of his seven traditional 3-point plays during the second half.
Derek Johnson scored 12 points for the Bucs.
Trevor Stencel, who drilled a key 3-pointer during overtime, scored 13 points to top USC's balanced attack.
Linde and Pederson delivered 12 points each for the Rebels, Grant Beecher generated 11 points, while Cody Nelson tallied 10 points.
Blue Earth Area (3-8) travels to Le Sueur-Henderson tonight, while United South Central (9-2) plays host to Bethlehem Academy tonight in Wells.
St. James 82, Mountain Lake Area 63 - Zach Brandts and Walker Froehling erupted to combine for a staggering 68 points to propel the Saints to an 82-63 nonconference victory over the Class 1A, No. 3-ranked Wolverines on Monday night in St. James.
Brandts delivered a game-high 36 points, including 20 during the second half, and pulled down seven rebounds. Froehling netted 32 points, including 25 during the second half via six 3-pointers, to complement five assists and five rebounds.
Brandts and Froehling combined to connect on 12 of 20 from behind the 3-point arc. The rest of the Saints hit 1 of 8 from behind the bonus line.
Carter Kirk produced a team-best 28 points to top the Wolverines, who experienced their first loss of the season. Andrew Hempeck and Cody Klassen each scored 11 points for MLA.
St. James made 13 of 29 shots from 2-point range and 17 of 22 at the free throw line. MLA hit 22 of 39 attempts from 2-point distance, 4 of 19 behind the 3-point arc and 7 of 16 at the charity stripe.
St. James (11-1) travels to St. Peter on Friday night, while Mountain Lake Area (11-1) hits the road to Okabena tonight to face Southwestern United.