St. Peter hoopsters fend off Fairmont
FAIRMONT — The Cardinals had trouble heating up after an icy break.
The St. Peter Saints beat Fairmont 65-54 in a Big South Conference basketball matchup in Cardinal Gym on Friday night.
The Saints took the lead for good midway through the first half.
Fairmont took its final lead when Nicholas Eversman made both attempts from the free throw line, but the Saints’ Seth Lokensgard followed with a 3 to give the Saints an 18-16 lead with 10:46 left before halftime.
The Saints went on a 19-7 run for the final 10 minutes of the opening half, with Wyatt Olson contributing four of his 16 points, while Ethan Volk dropped all four of his points and Kaden Oeltjenbruns scoring all five of his.
Eversman scored eight of his 15 points in the first half, while Wyatt Frank dropped seven of his nine.
Fairmont head coach Jared Thompson said his team came out sluggish after the long break.
“As expected, we were a little sloppy after the long layoff,” Thompson said. “Both teams would probably have liked to execute a little better, but I thought we competed and played hard. St. Peter is a good basketball team, you have to execute and play hard all 36 minutes to beat them and I thought we played hard for most of those 36, but we didn’t execute enough of those minutes to earn the victory tonight.
“I still like the direction we’re headed, we had a big performance by Eversman tonight. He competed and attacked the basket well, he shared the ball well. I thought we defended a lot better in the second half, I was happy with that.”
The Saints began to pull away in the second half with Ethan Grant scoring 12 of his game-high 21 points to help build a 48-27 lead with 12 minutes remaining, but the Cardinals would fight back.
Eversman got the comeback started with a layup off an assist from Zach Jorgensen, then Eversman scored on a second chance opportunity after charging into the lane and putting up a shot that he rebounded and put back for 2.
Frank scored off another putback opportunity after Dustin Schultz missed a shot and Frank was able to get above the defense for the board and second-chance points.
Midway through Fairmont’s run, Olson grabbed a rebound for the Saints that gave him his 704th on his career. The rebound moved the junior into first all-time for the Saints, ahead of 1995 graduate Aaron Loken.
The Cardinals got within 10 points when Jorgensen converted a traditional 3-point play with 1:39 remaining.
After a foul to put St. Peter at the charity stripe, where a Saint missed the front end of a one-and-one, Eversman passed back from the top of the key to Jack Hested waiting 5 feet behind it, Hested sank the long 3 to bring the Cardinals within seven.
Fairmont called a timeout and set up a play, which worked, getting Eversman in place for a steal and a chance at a layup. The Saints got the rebound, but the Cardinals forced a jump ball with 30 seconds left to get the ball under their own basket.
The Saints forced a steal with solid defense and hit both ensuing tries from the free throw line to move the game to 63-54 with under 25 seconds left. St. Peter pocketed another steal and was able to run out the clock, ending the Cardinal comeback attempt.
Thompson said his team was able to take advantage of lowered energy to come back late.
“We hit a couple of shots, that doesn’t hurt,” Thompson said. “Our sense of urgency was up, we got our hands on some passes. They probably got a little timid there, thought the game was over and we kept coming at them and got them on their heels. I thought in the first half, they got us on our heels for a five-to-seven minute stretch when they kind of took command of the game. We were able to compete and scare them a little at least, but they did well late. It’s going to be tough to come back that late against a team with good decision makers like they have.”
Fairmont shot 19 of 49 overall, including 2-for-8 from beyond the 3-point arc, while hitting 12 of 20 free throw attempts.
The Saints shot 29-for-46 from the field, while hitting 13 of 15 attempts from the charity stripe.
Fairmont (6-10, 2-5 Big South) plays host to St. James at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday.
St. Peter (14-3, 6-1 Big South) plays at Minnesota Valley Lutheran on Monday.
St. Peter 37-28–65
Eversman 5-14 3-4 15, Frank 4-10 1-1 9, Jorgensen 2-6 5-7 9, Hested 3-5 0-1 8, Schultz 2-7 2-5 6, Flohrs 2-2 0-0 4, Denney 1-5 1-2 3. Totals: 19-49 12-20 54.
ST. PETER (65)
Grant 7-10 7-7 21, Olson 7-10 2-2 16, Hanson 4-5 0-0 8, Lubiani 2-4 1-2 6, Oeltjenbruns 2-9 1-2 5, Lokensgard 2-2 0-0 5, Volk 1-1 2-2 4, Johnson 0-4 0-0 0. Totals: 29-46 13-15 65.
3-pointers: Fairmont 2-8; St. Peter 2-10. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: Fairmont 22 (Eversman 5, Frank 4, Denney 4); St. Peter 24 (Olson 8). Assists: Fairmont 10 (Eversman and Jorgensen 3 each); St. Peter 13 (Lubiani 3). Steals: Fairmont 6; St. Peter 5. Blocks: Fairmont 2; St. Peter 3.
Martin County West 62, St. Clair 58 — The Mavericks stayed undefeated in Valley Conference play with a win over Cyclones during basketball action in St. Clair on Friday night.
Wyatt Geistfeld led the Mavericks with 19 points, five assists and four blocks, while sharing the team lead with 11 rebounds for a double-double.
Zach Anderson scored 13 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and pocketed four steals to help the Mavericks’ winning ways.
Angel Reyes scored 12 points, while Nick Beseke put up 11 and Kolton Larson grabbed eight rebounds for MCW.
The Mavericks shot 16 of 46 from 2-point range, 6-for-22 from behind the 3-point arc and made 12 of 22 free throws.
Connor Andree and Thomas Loeffler led the Cyclones with 14 points each, while Max Hoosline had 13.
St. Clair shot 12-for-33 from 2, 7 of 21 from 3 and made 16 of 27 from the charity stripe.
Martin County West (9-5, 8-0 Valley) plays at Windom on Monday night.
St. Clair 28-30–58
Waseca 93, Blue Earth Area 53 — The Class AAA No. 2-ranked Bluejays flew by the Bucs in Big South Conference play Friday night in Waseca.
Cameron Anderson led the Bucs with 12 points, while Zach Herrmann scored nine points and grabbed five rebounds.
Carter Bell put up eight points, while both Grant Strukel and Caelan Sanders had six points, with Sanders dishing out six assists.
Andrew Morgan led the Bluejays with 25 points and Malik Willingham had 21, while Ryan Dufault put up 18 and Kyreese Willingham scored 12.
BEA (7-7) travels to New Ulm on Monday.
Garner-Hayfield/Ventura 71, North Union 41 — The Cardinals cleared the Warriors in a Top of Iowa Conference matchup Friday night in Garner.
Noah Morphew led the Warriors with 11 points, including three 3s, while Elliott Hagebock scored nine points.
Robert Ortman scored nine points and grabbed a team-leading four rebounds for the Warriors, who shot 16 of 41 overall.
North Union (2-14) plays host to Eagle Grove today in Armstrong.
St. Peter 67, Fairmont 52 — Jacey Welp scored a game-best 18 points on the strength of an 8-for-8 free throw-shooting performance to power the Saints to a 15-point Big South Conference victory over the Cardinals on Friday night in St. Peter.
Morgan Kelly collected 17 points and six rebounds for St. Peter, which avenged a 48-45 loss to Fairmont on Dec. 20 at Cardinal Gym.
Sarah Conlon contributed 11 points to the Saints’ winning ways.
Taylor Crissinger produced another double-double performance to top Fairmont. Crissinger netted a team-leading 15 points and grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds to complement three steals.
Maggy Totzke tallied 12 points and pulled down four rebounds for the Cardinals, Cadee Becker scored eight points, Lexi Lunn chipped in seven points, while Bryn Miller added six points and four boards.
Madysen Allen distributed four assists for Fairmont, which made 21 of 44 field goals overall, including 5 of 14 from 3-point distance. The Cardinals also connected on just 5 of 13 free throws.
The Saints built a 34-27 halftime lead before outscoring the Cardinals by a 33-25 margin in the second half.
Fairmont (6-14) travels to St. James Area on Tuesday night. St. Peter (8-9) hits the road to Mapleton on Monday night for a non-league game against Maple River.
Emily Frank neared double-double territory to guide Fairmont to a 34-17 triumph over St. Peter during C-squad action Friday night.
Frank scored nine points and pulled down eight rebounds for the Cardinals, Cassidy Schultz netted eight points, while Brittney Mosloski added six points.
Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman/Martin Luther 62, Heron Lake-Okabena/Fulda 45 — Eden Studer’s double-double of 16 points and 18 rebounds lifted the Jaguars past the Coyotes during nonconference action in Granada.
Lydia Studer contributed 14 points to the Jaguars’ winning ways, while Michaelah Petrowiak grabbed 11 rebounds.
Jayme Balcom put up eight points and brought down eight rebounds, while Rachel Stauter scored seven points and grabbed 11 boards.
McKenzie Evers led the Coyotes with 12 points, while Chloe Gehl put up 10.
The Jaguars (5-13) play in the Valley Conference Showcase against Nicollet/ Mankato Loyola in Nicollet at 7 p.m. Monday.
North Union 44, Garner-Hayfield/Ventura 37 — The Warriors outbattled the Cardinals in a Top of Iowa Conference basketball clash Friday night in Garner.
Chloe Lofstrom led the Warriors with 19 points on 9 of 15 shooting and grabbed 18 rebounds for a double-double performance.
Brooklyn Prochniak scored six points and grabbed four rebounds to help the Warriors winning ways, while Hope Steinberger pocketed seven steals.
The Warriors shot 18-for-48 from the field, including 1 of 13 behind the 3-point line and made 7 of 18 free throws.
North Union (11-6) plays host to Eagle Grove today in Armstrong.