Fairmont cagers coast by New Ulm

DRIVE TIME — Fairmont Cardinals point guard Nick Eversman (2) drives past New Ulm’s Reece Melby during Big South Conference basketball action Tuesday night at Cardinal Gym in Fairmont. (Photo by Greg Abel)

FAIRMONT — The Cardinal seniors showed up for senior night.

Dustin Schultz and Nick Eversman led the way for the seniors, contributing a combined 23 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists to Fairmont’s 62-41 Big South Conference basketball victory over the New Ulm Eagles on Tuesday night.

Eversman dropped six points, brought down nine boards and dished out six assists, while Schultz scored 17, grabbed five rebounds and dropped three dimes.

Fairmont (12-13) opens the Section 3AA, South Sub-Section quarterfinals against Martin County West at 7 p.m. Saturday in Sherburn.

The Cardinals used an explosive first half to build their lead.

Jack Hested started the game with a catch-and-shoot left-corner 3 off a pass from Eversman, then Wyatt Frank powered through a foul for a traditional three-point play after grabbing one of his eight rebounds. Frank ended with a game-leading 20 points.

New Ulm got on the board when Reece Melby scored off a Noah Hauge assist, but the Cardinals put up 17 of the next 21 points to build a 23-6 lead with 8:38 left in the opening half.

Frank contributed six points in the run, Schultz hit two of his three 3s on the night and made an isolation layup, while Hested made one of his three 3s.

The teams traded points the rest of the way through the half to go into the break with the Cardinals up 41-25.

Fairmont head coach Jared Thompson said the performances from Schultz and Eversman helped power the Cardinals’ win.

“We got off to a very good start offensively,” Thompson said. “But we came out in the second half and coasted a bit. Give New Ulm credit, they fought really hard in the second half and we got into a little foul trouble and had to grind it out for a little while. After four games in five days, I think our legs got a little rubbery there and I think our shooting percentage went down a little in the second half because of it.

“We had some great performances by our seniors tonight. Dustin Schultz came up huge and Nick Eversman played an all-around game. Those two seniors in the starting lineup really had big games. We overcame Wyatt (Frank) getting in foul trouble, he had a great first half and then picked up four fouls in the second half and maybe played four or five minutes. We were able to overcome that, which was important with (Lucas) Denney hurt. We’re going to have to play some different lineups and we got a chance to do that tonight.”

Schultz led the way in the second half with nine points and all five of his rebounds, while Frank and Eversman each scored four points.

With two minutes remaining and the Cardinals up 60-39, Thompson called a timeout and subbed in his seniors — Eversman, Schultz, Pete Ortega and Dalen Keltgen. Denney could not play after injuring his left ankle Monday night.

The four active seniors got the next minute on the floor together before Thompson called another timeout and together they left Cardinal Gym for the final time.

“It was nice that we were able to get those four out there together for a minute and they all got to come off together,” Thompson said. “They’ve given a lot to Fairmont basketball and we’re thankful for what they’ve done.”

Ortega ended with two rebounds while Keltgen dished out an assist.

Thompson said the Cardinals will have to play with energy to beat Martin County West in the sub-section opener Saturday.

“No. 1, we’ve got to try to be rested,” Thompson said. “We’ve got to play loose and play with energy, we’re gonna have to move the ball well. They’re a very good defensive team and they have a lot of shooters. We’re gonna have to play our best game of the year to beat them.”

New Ulm (5-19) plays its final game Thursday at Lake Crystal before opening the Section 3AAA tournament on March 5.

New Ulm 25-16–41

Fairmont 41-21–62

FAIRMONT (62)

Frank 8-11 4-5 20, Schultz 6-9 2-3 17, Hested 3-9 0-0 9, Eversman 2-6 1-2 6, Flohrs 2-2 2-2 6, Jorgensen 1-4 0-0 2, A. Ortega 0-0 2-2 2, Keltgen 0-1 0-0 0, P. Ortega 0-1 0-0 0, Utermarck 0-0 0-1 0. Totals: 22-43 11-15 62.

NEW ULM (41)

Zimmerman 3-5 4-5 11, Melby 3-14 4-4 10, Hauge 3-7 1-1 7, A. Hames 1-3 3-3 5, C. Hames 0-1 3-6 3, Bolduan 1-2 0-0 2, Meyer 1-1 0-0 2, Domeier 0-2 1-2 1, Backer 0-2 0-0 0, Maki 0-1 0-0 0, Lund 0-1 0-0 0, Miller 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 12-40 16-21 41.

3-pointers: FMT 7-15 (Hested 3, Schultz 3); NU 1-11. Fouled out: Frank (FMT). Rebounds: FMT 31 (Eversman 9, Frank 8, Schultz 5); NU 15 (Melby 6). Assists: FMT 14 (Eversman 6, Schultz 3); NU 5. Steals: FMT 3; NU 6.

New Ulm took down Fairmont 39-38 in B-squad action on Tuesday night.

Jake Harris and Jackson Francis each scored eight points for the Cardinals, while Tony Ortega scored six points.

Worthington 74, Martin County West 69 — Terbuto Ochothow scorched the Sherburn gymnasium nets for a game-best 35 points to help the Trojans squeeze by the Mavericks by five points during the two teams’ nonconference regular-season finale on Tuesday night.

Brock Bruns tossed in 16 points for Worthington, while Karasharo Ojulu added 10 points.

Wyatt Geistfeld collected another double-double performance for the Mavericks, pouring in 21 points to complement 11 rebounds and five blocked shots.

Dawson Weber contributed 14 points to MCW’s cause, while Zach Anderson produced 13 points and pulled down six rebounds. Angel Reyes scored 11 points and doled out four assists, while Kolton Larson added eight points for the Mavericks.

The Mavericks proved perfect from the free throw line by draining 15 of 15, while sinking 21 of 39 shots from 2-point range and 4 of 17 behind the 3-point arc.

The Mavericks held a 38-34 halftime lead, but the Trojans converted a 40-31 second-half scoring edge into the comeback win.

Martin County West (16-6), the No. 4 seed in the Section 3AA, South Sub-Section tournament, opens quarterfinal action by playing host to No. 5 seed Fairmont at 7 p.m. Saturday night in Sherburn.

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