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Mavericks’ 2nd-half rally cages Jaguars

CAROM CHALLENGE — Truman/Martin Luther/Granada-Huntley-East Chain’s Jakob Fischer (second from right) challenges Martin County West’s Zach Anderson for a long rebound during Valley Conference basketball action Friday night in Sherburn. The Mavericks’ Tanner Sinn (far right) and Owen Runkle (11), along with the Jaguars’ Owen Wolter (second from left), watch the battle. (Photo by Greg Abel)

SHERBURN — Martin County West’s net-snapping catalyst and defensive disruptor combined to offset Truman/Martin Luther/Granada-Huntley-East Chain’s towering low-post power during the Valley Conference basketball rivals’ rematch Friday night.

Zach Anderson erupted for 24 of his game-leading 27 points and grabbed nine of his game-best 13 rebounds during the second half, while teammate Cash Owens proved money in the bank on defense by pocketing four steals to steer the hometown Mavericks to a 53-44 league triumph over the Jaguars in Sherburn.

The Mavericks’ nine-point victory, which avenged a 39-26 loss to the Jaguars on Feb. 1 in Truman, extended the blue-and-black attack’s winning streak to four in a row.

“After Adam Heckman converted the ‘and-1’ to help the Jaguars retake the lead at 36-34, I thought our zone defense really created passing problems to the low post for them, and Cash (Owens) and Christian (Bachenberg) were key to applying the pressure,” said MCW head coach Cliff Anderson, whose lineup made the final 4 minutes of regulation evaporate via a precision delay strategy. “When we put him (Owens) on the floor, he creates chaos for the opposing team.”

After Tanner Sinn’s 10-foot fade-away jumper in the lane knotted the game at 36, Zach Anderson scooped in a fall-away baseline leaner off one of Bachenberg’s three assists for a two-point edge. The Jaguars’ Cael Jaskulke tossed in two of his team-best 14 points to tie the game one last time with 7:22 left in regulation before Anderson and the Mavericks went on a nine-point stampede to nearly put the game out of reach at 47-38 with 5:38 to go.

Anderson spun home a reverse layup off Bachenberg’s pinpoint low-post pass before the 6-foot-4 sophomore forward pocketed a backcourt steal and thundered home a dunk to put the Mavericks up by four with 7:13 left in regulation.

“I thought the dunk sparked us and got the fans into the game a little more,” said Cliff Anderson. “Mitch then hit a big 3 to maintain the momentum before Tanner added another two.”

Weber’s trifecta off a Sinn kickout pass widened MCW’s margin to 45-38 before Sinn’s left-handed leaner in the lane added two more to his 13-point performance. Jaskulke hit a putback basket and a low-post banker to whittle the Jaguars’ deficit to five before the Mavericks’ delay game iced the win.

“He (Zach Anderson) was our primary focus on defense tonight, and I thought we did a good job on him during the first half,” Jaguars head coach Adam Walker said in reference to limiting the high-scoring sophomore to three points in the initial 18 minutes. “But we couldn’t seem to locate him during the second half, and that hurt us.

“Martin County West also played a more physical game than they did the first time we played, and we didn’t match that intensity tonight.”

Trailing 16-15 on the heels of a Weber 3-pointer, point guard Owen Wolter triggered the Jaguars’ pivotal 11-3 surge to help build a 26-19 halftime lead. Wolter sank two free throws and buried a 3-pointer for five of his 12 points on the game before teammate Jacob Moeller tracked down a loose ball and hit the ensuing layup.

Weber countered with a trey for MCW only to see Adam Heckman and Jaskulke worked a perfect high-low post play before Jaskulke cleaned the offensive boards for a putback en route to a seven-point lead at the break.

Adam Heckman neared double-double territory by scoring eight points to complement a team-best nine rebounds for the Jaguars.

Martin County West (5-6) plays host to Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial in another Valley Conference contest Monday night in Sherburn.

The Jaguars (7-4) play host to Cedar Mountain on Thursday night in a nonconference game in Truman.

TMLGHEC 26-18–44

MC West 19-34–53

MCW (53)

Sinn 6-14 1-4 13, Runkle 0-0 0-0 0, Z. Anderson 9-16 7-8 27, Weber 3-9 0-0 9, Bachenberg 1-3 0-0 2, Owens 1-1 0-1 2, Leiding 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 20-44 8-13 53.

TMLGHEC (44)

A. Heckman 3-7 2-3 8, Jaskulke 7-10 0-0 14, M. Heckman 0-7 1-2 1, Fischer 2-8 0-0 5, Wolter 3-9 4-4 12, Moeller 1-2 0-0 2, Kube 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 17-44 7-9 44.

3-pointers: MCW 5-13 (Weber 3-7, Z. Anderson 2-5, Bachenberg 0-1); TMLGHEC 3-21 (Wolter 2-7, Fischer 1-2, M. Heckman 0-5, Jaskulke 0-3, A. Heckman 0-3, Moeller 0-1). Fouled out: None. Rebounds: TMLGHEC 28 (A. Heckman 9); MCW 25 (Z. Anderson 13). Assists: MCW 9 (Weber and Bachenberg 3 each); TMLGHEC 8 (M. Heckman 4). Steals: MCW 12 (Bachenberg and Owens 4 each); TMLGHEC 6 (Wolter 3).

St. Peter 75, Blue Earth Area 73 (OT) — The Bucs stormed back from down 12 to send the game into overtime Friday night, but Kelson Lund hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 20 seconds remaining to eventually seal the two-point win for the hometown Saints.

Braden Gudahl tied the game at the end of regulation by connecting for a buzzer-beating 3-pointer for the Bucs during the Big South Conference showdown in St. Peter.

Cameron Anderson led the Bucs with 16 points, including 12 in the second half, on the heels of injuring his ankle during the opening half.

Gudahl totaled 12 points for BEA, while Austin Thielfoldt contributed 11 points to the cause. Gavin Storbeck also netted 11 points, Ashton Lloyd and Sam Keister each scored seven and Will Howard put up five points for the Bucs.

Blue Earth Area (9-2) is awaiting its next official game after having its game at Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton on Thursday night and its home contest against New Ulm next Saturday scratched from the schedule due to COVID-19 issues.

BEA 33-34-6–73

STP 33-34-8–75

Girls Basketball

Fairmont 62, New Ulm 40 — Madysen Allen scored 15 points to engineer the Cardinals past the Eagles by 22 during Big South Conference basketball action Friday night in New Ulm.

Allen shot 5-for-9 from the field overall, including 2 of 3 from beyond the 3-point arc, to top Fairmont’s scoring efforts, while Cassidy Schultz neared a double-double by scoring nine points and pulling down 10 rebounds.

Cadee Becker contributed nine points, while bringing down four caroms for the Cardinals, Maggy Totzke hit two 3s to help build her eight-point performance, while grabbing three boards. Rayah Quiring added six rebounds and five assists to the Cardinal efforts, while Bryn Miller brought down five boards.

Fairmont shot 20-for-53 overall, including 7 of 18 from 3-point range, while making 15 of 22 free throw attempts.

The Cardinals outrebounded the Eagles 36-13 in the matchup.

Fairmont (5-4) plays host to Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman/Martin Luther at 7:30 p.m. Thursday night at Cardinal Gym.

New Ulm defeated Fairmont in B-squad action, 58-32, Friday in New Ulm.

Nevaeh Rahm netted 12 points to top the Cardinals, while Abby Cihoski supplied five points and seven rebounds.

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