Boys basketball: Mankato West rolls past Sibley East in Worthington
WORTHINGTON — A dominant effort in the paint both offensively and defensively can be demoralizing to face in the game of basketball.
Mankato West’s boys basketball team used an effective brand of athleticism to earn a big halftime lead and eventually a 79-56 win Friday night over Sibley East to advance into today’s championship of the 16th Annual Daily Globe-Trojan Holiday Classic against Perham.
“We really wanted to establish the inside game and worked really hard on the boards,” West coach Tom Boone said after the game. “We’ll usually go 10 guys deep in our rotation, but I think we played about everybody tonight. That is one of the things we were able to do tonight to stay fresh.”
Sibley East played toe-to-toe with Mankato West in a balanced half-court game early on, but the Wolverines, trailing 13-10 off a mid-range jumper by junior guard Zac Weber just inside 10:30 to go in the first half, wouldn’t get any closer.
Mankato West forced East to several consecutive stops in the late goings of the first half that force-fed easy buckets on the other end. Jake Dale, Braeden Myers and Alex Goettl each scored from short range while junior guard Travon Jones hit two three-pointers in an 11-5 run that closed out the opening half for West on a positive note.
“We had some good runouts in the first half off of some stops. That led to us being able to get out and run,” Boone said of the first half. “We created some good matchup challenges but also had some good outside threats so we could stretch the floor, too.”
Sibley East countered West’s fast-break abilities in the second half by setting up a zone defense that transitioned them into more of a half-court frame of mind.
On the offensive side for the Wolverines, the shots simply didn’t fall and second-chance opportunities were few. Brody Rodning scored 25 points for Sibley East to lead the way and Weber added a dozen.
Dale led Mankato West with 23 points and Goettl scored 15.
West hit 28 buckets from inside to Sibley East’s 18, which was a tell-tale sign of how the game went.
“I thought we shared the ball well and took fairly good shots for the most part and played intelligently,” Sibley East coach Daniel Meier said. “We broke their press in the first half and didn’t play badly here during the Christmas break against a pretty good squad.”
The loss dropped Sibley East to 3-7 on the season after they earned recent back-to-back wins over New Ulm Cathedral and LeSueur-Henderson. The Wolverines are in their first year under Meier and see their season as one where they hope to improve as they go.
“Truthfully, I didn’t think we played all that badly,” Meier reiterated. “They were just much bigger, more athletic and stronger than us. We battled and our kids did exactly what I asked them to do. From that standpoint we can’t be disappointed at all. It is just frustrating because we’re not as big and strong as some of the teams we’re facing.”
Sibley East will move on and face Worthington in the third-place game of the tournament tonight at 5 p.m. to complete the Wolverines’ first occurance of back-to-back games this season.
“It will be interesting to see how the day goes following tonight’s game,” Meier said. “We have to get some rest tonight at the hotel and prepare mentally to come back and play tomorrow just like we did tonight.”
West takes a complete team effort from Friday’s game and will look to solve an equally as balanced spread the Perham will bring to the table for tonight’s feature game of this year’s tournament.
“They’re a good team,” Boone said of Perham. “We’ll have to be ready to go.”
Mankato West 45 79
Sibley East 28 56
MANKATO WEST (3PT-2PT-FT-TP) —Dale 0-10-3-23, Goettl 0-7-1-15, Stoffel 0-4-0-8, Jones 2-1-0-8, Myers 0-4-0-8, Nessler 1-2-0-7, Makela 1-0-2-5, Marzolf 1-0-0-3, Burmeister 0-0-2-2. Totals 5-28-8-79.
SIBLEY EAST (3PT-2PT-FT-TP) — Rodning 0-9-7-25, Weber 1-4-1-12, Bullert 0-2-7-11, Bates 0-2-1-5, White 0-1-1-3. Totals 1-18-17-56