Fairmont hoopsters down Maple River in OT, gain finals

Nate Kallenbach

MANKATO — The Fairmont Cardinal boys basketball team earned a spot in the KwikTrip/Bethany Lutheran College Holiday Basketball Tournament’s championship game.

Nate Kallenbach, who delivered the clutch 4-point play during the Cardinals’ 54-51 late comeback win over St. Clair during Wednesday night’s opening round, drained four free throws as Fairmont outscored Maple River 13-7 in overtime during Thursday night’s semifinal clash in Mankato.

Kallenbach’s prowess at the charity stripe and teammate Sam Schwieger’s key 3-pointer during the 4-minute extra session engineered the Cardinals’ 60-54 triumph over the Eagles.

Fairmont (8-1), winners of five consecutive games, faces St. Croix Lutheran (6-1) for the eight-team tournament crown at 8:30 p.m. tonight at North Gym on the Bethany Lutheran campus.

Maple River (5-5) plays Minnesota Valley Lutheran (6-2) for third place at 6:30 p.m. tonight at the North Gym. St. Croix Lutheran posted an 81-58 semifinal victory over MVL to gain the finals.

Kallenbach finished with a team-best 16 points for Fairmont, while Brady Allen collected solid all-around numbers of 14 points, six rebounds and four steals.

Derek Missling tallied 10 points and blocked three shots for the Cardinals, while Wyatt Quiring contributed six rebounds and four points to the winning performance.

Fairmont blistered the nets for 18 of 21 from the free throw line for 85 percent, while shooting 20 of 47 from the field for 42 percent.

Ethan Sindelir tallied a game-best 22 points to top Maple River, while teammate Mason Sohre contributed 12 points.

The Eagles hit 20 of 52 field goals for 38 percent and 11 of 14 at the free throw line for 78 percent.

Wyatt Frank delivered 18 points to power the Fairmont Cardinals to a 70-36 semifinal win over Le Sueur-Henderson during the KwikTrip/BLC junior varsity tournament on Thursday in Mankato.

Fairmont plays St. Croix Lutheran at 3:30 p.m. today at North Gym for the junior varsity championship.

Joey Flohrs and Jack Hested each scored 13 points for the Cardinals, while Zach Jorgensen chipped in eight points.

Fairmont 25-22-13–60

M. River 27-20– 7–54

Redwood Valley Tour

Martin County West 70, Benson 59 — Wyatt Geistfeld and Cole Owens each neared double-double territory to guide the Mavericks to an 11- point triumph over the Braves during the third-place game at the Redwood Valley Holiday Tournament on Thursday in Redwood Falls.

Geistfeld poured in a co-team-high 14 points to complement grabbing nine rebounds and pocketing three steals, while Owens supplied 10 points and garnered eight boards.

Logan Ebeling contributed a co-team-high 14 points to Martin County West’s winning ways, while teammate Cam Dressen delivered 11 points, five assists and three steals.

The Mavericks made 18 of 24 free throws for 75 percent, 20 of 31 shots from 2-point range and 4 of 22 behind the 3-point arc.

The Mavericks built a 38-28 halftime margin and never looked back en route to the win.

Will Enderson tallied a game-best 16 points for Benson, while Austin Ose netted 12 points.

Eric Hoium and Sam Lundebrek each scored 11 points for the Braves, who hit 6 of 10 free throws to go with 7-for-27 shooting from 3-point range and 16 of 26 shooting from 2-point territory.

Martin County West (4-4) travels to Cleveland on Friday, Jan. 5, for a Valley Conference showdown.