PREP BOYS BASKETBALL: Kirk breaks school scoring record, powers MLA past Springfield
ST. PETER -- Carter Kirk not only scored a game-high 29 points for the Mountain Lake Area Wolverines in a 70-44 win over the Springfield Tigers, he also became the school's all-time leading scorer Monday night at Gustavus Adolphus College during the Class 2A Southern Division championship game.
"It was a good defensive game for us," MLA coach Shawn Naas said. "We passed the ball really well tonight and because of that we were able to get the ball low to Carter and Josiah [Stoesz], who were able to create points when they got the ball."
Kirk passed Mark DeYounge for all-time leading scorer with his 29th point of the night and now sits atop the leader board with 1606 points, despite being just a junior.
The Wolverines led 33-26 at halftime and used a strong rebounding night to build their lead even more in the second half.
"Our defensive play allowed us to transition well into our offense," Naas said. "We also shared the ball really well tonight which we need to continue doing as we move forward."
Stoesz was second on the team in scoring and rebounding for the Wolverines with 14 points and nine rebounds, while Andrew Hempeck added seven points and eight assists. Kirk also grabbed 14 rebounds, dished out eight assists and blocked seven shots in the game.
"We played a complete game tonight and we have to keep doing that if we want to keep winning," Naas said. "Our defense was great tonight and even though they scored 44 points, we held them at 29 for a long period of time during the game."
The Tigers were led by Isaac Kirschstein, who had 13 points in the game.
Mountain Lake Area outrebounded Springfield 34-18 on the night, while also winning the turnover battle seven to 11.
With the win, the Wolverines (23-5) advances to the section championship Friday at Minnesota State-Mankato. Mountain Lake Area will face the No. 3-seed from the Northern Division in Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity for the right to advance to the state tournament.
"We were hoping that No. 1 Sleepy Eye St. Mary's would make it to the championship game because they beat us by 30 earlier this year and we wanted to avenge that loss," Naas said. "But we cannot afford to take a step back because we aren't playing them. LP/HT is a good team and they have a lot of speed, but we definitely have the size advantage."
Springfield 26 18 -- 44
MLA 33 37 -- 70