Mavericks edge Raiders by 4 in Showcase game

CHALLENGING — Martin County West defender Dawson Weber challenges a shot by Nicollet’s Shane Stevensen (43) during Valley Conference Showcase basketball action Monday night in Sherburn. The Mavericks’ Zach Anderson (back left) and the Raiders’ Colton Thomsen (2) watch the action. (Photo by Greg Abel)

SHERBURN — The Mavericks made their free throws.

Martin County West beat the Nicollet Raiders 61-57 in the opening game of the Valley Conference Showcase in Sherburn. The win kept the Mavericks perfect in Valley Conference basketball play at 10-0.

With the game tied at 52 and less than two minutes to play, the Mavericks were sent to the free throw line for 10 attempts and sank nine.

Wyatt Geistfeld made five attempts from the charity stripe in the final two minutes, while Dawson Weber and Nick Beseke each made both tries they were awarded.

“It was an intense game and we needed to keep our composure and take good shots,” MCW head coach Cliff Anderson said. “I thought we did that down the stretch and Wyatt (Geistfeld) and Weber made some big free throws. If you’re going to win close games, you’ve got to make your free throws.”

Eleven of the final 14 points in the game were made at the free throw line, with the other three coming on a buzzer-beating trey from Nicollet’s Josh Chadderdon to reduce the Raiders’ deficit to four.

Neither team had a lead bigger than three points until the final five seconds, when free throws put the Mavericks ahead by as much as seven.

MCW opened the second half with a 26-23 lead, but Chadderdon hit a 3 to bring the game to a tie.

Geistfeld hit one of his 13 made free throws to put MCW ahead one with 15 minutes to go and followed with a layup off an Angel Reyes post-entry assist to go up by three.

Shane Stevensen scored two of his team-leading 16 to bring the Raiders within one, then Chadderdon made an up-and-under layup and got the foul for a traditional three-point play to put the Raiders ahead by two.

The teams continued jockeying back and forth, with Beseke making two clutch 3s, one to tie the game and one to go ahead by one, with Weber doing the same.

With the game tied at 48, Geistfeld made a traditional three-point play with 5:31 left for the Mavericks’ final non-free-throw score.

Anderson said he was happy with his team’s effort, but they’ll need to shoot for a higher percentage in big games down the line.

“We played really hard,” Anderson said. “We didn’t shoot the ball particularly well tonight, not as well as we’re going to need to in the future, but we did the little things well enough to win the ballgame.”

Geistfeld totaled a double-double with 23 points and 16 rebounds, while adding three steals.

Beseke scored 15 points, while doling out five assists and Weber scored 11 and totalled three assists.

Stevensen neared double-double territory for the Raiders with 16 points and nine rebounds, while Anthony Macias scored 15, grabbed nine rebounds and dished out four assists.

The Mavericks shot 7 of 24 from 3, 17-for-47 from 2 and made 20 out of 31 free throws. Nicollet made 5 of 23 shots from 3-point range, 24 of 58 from 2 and hit 4 of 7 free throws.

Anderson said he told the team to keep up the energy and effort going forward.

“Just keep it going,” Anderson said. “We’re 10-0 in the conference and we’ve got a tough game Thursday against the Jaguars. The guys know it’s gonna be tough and we’ve got to keep working hard.”

MCW (12-5, 10-0 Valley) plays against Truman/Martin Luther/Granada-Huntley-East Chain in Northrop on Thursday night for its next Valley Showcase game.

Nicollet (14-6, 7-3 Valley) plays host to Mankato Loyola to continue Showcase action Thursday night.

Nicollet 23-34–57

MCW 26-35–61

MCW (61)

Geistfeld 5-11 13-18 23, Beseke 5-10 2-2 15, Weber 4-9 2-2 12, Reyes 3-14 1-3 9, Larson 0-2 1-3 1, Miller 0-0 1-2 1, Zach Anderson 0-1 0-1 0. Totals: 17-47 20-31 61.

NICOLLET (57)

Stevensen 7-16 0-0 16, Macias 7-9 1-2 15, Chadderdon 4-9 1-1 11, Fischer 2-7 1-2 5, Radke 1-1 1-2 3, Thomsen 1-1 0-0 3, Hulke 1-9 0-0 2, Laven 1-2 0-0 2, Mans 0-4 0-0 0. Totals: 24-58 4-7 57.

3-pointers: MCW 7-24 (Beseke 3); Nicollet 5-23. Fouled out: Hulke (NIC). Rebounds: MCW 25 (Geistfeld 16); Nicollet 41 (Stevensen 9, Macias 9, Hulke 8). Assists: MCW 14 (Beseke 5); Nicollet 14 (Fischer 5, Macias 4). Steals: MCW 8; Nicollet 8.

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