TRIMONT - Granada-Huntley-East Chain senior Ryan Shumski and Martin County West junior Jake Sinn battled in the lane and each kept their teams' offenses going during Monday night's Valley Conference matchup in Trimont.
Sinn and the Mavericks' late free throws held off the Mustangs' second-half charge to take the 55-46 victory.
Sinn single-handedly gave the Mavericks their first lead of the game, scoring three straight baskets on his way to a career-best 18-point night to go ahead 6-2 in the early part of the game.
CUTTING TO THE BASKET — Martin County West’s Jake Faber (10) drives around Granada-Huntley-East Chain’s Logan Pytleski (44) during Valley Conference basketball action Monday night in Trimont. The Mustangs’ Josh Johanson (left) and the Mavericks’ Cordell Weber look on. (Photo by Leanna Becker)
The junior, who pulled down six rebounds in the game, also netted seven points in the final seven minutes to fight off the Mustangs at the end.
"I thought that Jake Sinn played a great game tonight," said Martin County West head coach Cliff Anderson. "Offensively we struggled to find any rhythm and cohesiveness, so we are happy he was able to have a great game."
After Sinn helped the Mavericks take their first lead of the game with six unanswered points, the Mustangs were able to find their offense as well.
Mustang guard Jared Green swished the first of his two 3s to make it 13-11 with just over nine minutes left in the opening half.
After Sinn scored another basket from the lane, teammate Jake Faber drilled a 3 from the top of the key and made a pair of free throws to make it 20-11 with 4:50 left before half.
Josh Johanson gave the Mustangs a spark heading into the break, scoring a 3 and swishing one free throw to cut the deficit to 27-19.
"We switched it up and played a little more man defense in the second half," said Granada-Huntley-East Chain head coach Scott Chirpich. "I think it helped us get back into the game, but a couple times we lost their shooters and they hit shots. That was the difference."
In the second half, Shumski, who finished with a game-high 21 points, drained back-to-back baskets to make it 33-31 with a little over 11 minutes left.
The Mavericks got a pair of layups, one from Wesley Cook and the other from Richard Eckmann, to hold onto their lead with 9:19 left.
Shumski, who grabbed six rebounds in the game, got a pair of free throws to bounce into the net 19 seconds later to make it 37-33.
Sinn, who had battled in the lane against Shumski all game, then found the basket for a layup at the seven-minute mark before swishing a pair of free throws two minutes later to go ahead 43-36.
Shumski again closed the gap with just 48.3 seconds left, hitting a jumper from the baseline to make it 48-45.
The senior fouled out on the next Maverick possession, and Sinn finished the game with a layup and a pair of free throws to give the home team the edge again.
"It seems like whenever we play against Granada-Huntley-East Chain, it is always a close game," said Anderson. "Tonight's game was a challenge for both teams on offense after the kids had the day off from school, but we are glad to get out of here with a win."
Cordell Weber and Eckmann each sank a pair of free throws in the final minute to ice the 55-46 win.
Faber finished with 11 points and eight rebounds for the Mavericks, while Weber and Eckmann each contributed eight points.
Green contributed eight points for the Mustangs, while Johanson added seven and Logan Pytleski netted six points.
Martin County West (7-5, 5-2 Valley) travels to Cleveland on Thursday night.
Granada-Huntley-East Chain (4-9, 4-4 Valley) plays host to Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton on Thursday night at East Chain School.
Green 2-5 2-2 8, Johanson 2-9 2-5 7, Shumski 8-12 4-10 21, Stensland 1-3 1-3 3, Pytleski 3-6 0-0 6, Josh Wolter 0-4 1-2 1, Maday 0-1 0-1 0. Totals 16-40 10-23 46.
Baker 1-1 0-0 2, Weber 2-10 3-5 8, Biehn 1-8 2-3 4, Faber 3-7 2-4 11, Sinn 7-9 4-4 18, Cook 1-4 0-0 2, Eckmann 2-7 4-4 8, Williams 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 18-47 15-20 55.
3-pointers: GHEC 4-14 (Green 2-4, Johanson 1-4, Shumski 1-1, Stensland 0-1, Josh Wolter 0-3, Maday 0-1); MCW 4-18 (Weber 1-5, Biehn 0-4, Faber 3-4, Cook 0-1, Eckmann 0-4). Fouled out: Faber and Pytleski. Rebounds: GHEC 19 (Shumski 6, Green and Johanson 4 each); MCW 31 (Faber 8, Sinn 6, Eckmann 5).
Truman/Martin Luther 58, Mankato Loyola 49 - Sam Geistfeld produced a triple-double, while teammate Alex Weihe netted a double-double to engineer the BluejayKnights' nine-point victory over the Crusaders during Valley Conference action Monday night in Truman.
Geistfeld generated game-highs of 25 points and 10 assists to go with 12 rebounds, four steals and four blocked shots.
Weihe tallied 16 points and pulled down a game-best 14 rebounds to go with seven steals, six assists and four blocks.
Aaron Neumann doled out six assists for TML, which made 24 of 48 field goals and 7 of 15 free throws on the game.
Ryan VanBlarcom scored 16 points to pace Loyola.
The Crusaders hit only 16 of 60 shots from the field, while blistering the nets on 13 of 16 free throws.
Truman/Martin Luther (6-9, 4-4 Valley) plays host to North Union tonight in Truman.
Maple River 56, Blue Earth Area 53 - Jonah Breiter collected a team-best 20 points, including two clutch free throws with 1 second remaining in regulation, to guide the Eagles to a 56-53 nonconference win over the Bucs on Monday night in Blue Earth.
Brian Doering produced 13 points for Maple River, while Grant Sonnek and Andrew Albrecht each delivered six points off the bench.
Luke Monson netted a game-best 22 points, including 16 during the opening half, to top Blue Earth Area's effort. Monson went 8 of 8 at the free throw line to pace the Bucs' perfect 13-for-13 performance on the night.
Derek Johnson supplied 13 points, including three 3-pointers, to BEA's effort, while Bailey Olson and Conor Barnett contributed nine and seven points, respectively.
Bailey Olson's traditional 3-point play inched the Bucs within one at 54-53 with 1:45 to go before Breiter sank the late free throws.
Blue Earth Area (4-10, 3-4 South Central) travels to Fairmont for a 7:45 p.m. game Friday night at Cardinal Gym.
Maple River (8-8) plays host to Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial tonight in Mapleton.