PREP BASKETBALL: Mountain Lake Christian blows past RL-B 55-35WINDOM — Effectively running the floor well, crashing the offensive glass with authority and getting to the free-throw line 17 times in the first half Monday night, the Mountain Lake Christian Bears mounted a 33-12 halftime advantage and claimed a 55-35 victory over the Round Lake-Brewster Raiders in a non-conference high school boys’ basketball game at the Business, Arts & Recreation Center (BARC) in Windom.
By: Lucas Knutson, Worthington Daily Globe
WINDOM — Effectively running the floor well, crashing the offensive glass with authority and getting to the free-throw line 17 times in the first half Monday night, the Mountain Lake Christian Bears mounted a 33-12 halftime advantage and claimed a 55-35 victory over the Round Lake-Brewster Raiders in a non-conference high school boys’ basketball game at the Business, Arts & Recreation Center (BARC) in Windom.
Micah Bargen (10 rebounds) scored 11 of his game-high 17 points in the first half to spark the Bears, while Josiah Stoesz (10 rebounds, five steals and five shot blocks) scored 10 of his 16 points on 8-for-12 shooting from the foul line in the initial 18 minutes. MLC (4-2) was 10-for-17 overall from the free-throw line in the first half, while RL-B (0-8) did not attempt a foul shot in that same span.
The Raiders, though, did get to the line 18 times in the second half, sinking exactly half (nine) of those shots. Seven players contributed to that effort, as RL-B won the evenly-played second half 23-22.
“We played better in the second half and came out with some good positive energy,” RL-B head coach Lon Eichenberger said after the game. “We took care of the ball better and became more aggressive. We also shot the ball better and had several players contribute, as we played the Bears evenly.”
However, MLC was in control throughout the first half — thanks in large part to several transition baskets, the wide discrepancy from the free-throw line and a commanding rebounding advantage that finished 38-16 in favor of the Bears.
“We did a pretty good job in each of those areas and also played solid defensively,” summed up MLC head coach Wayne Klassen. “I’d like us to play with a little more disci-pline than what we showed, as we turned the ball over too much and didn’t always finish our fast-break opportunities. But overall, this was a good win for us to start the new year.”
Bears use 18-0 run to build 28-6 lead
RL-B’s Brady Meyer (eight points) opened the game’s scoring with a strong driving basket 16 seconds in, as the Raiders had a quick 2-0 lead with 17:44 remaining in the first half.
Back-to-back offensive-rebound baskets by Brennan Holmen (11 points) and Bargen gave the Bears their first lead (4-2) at the 17:01 mark, and MLC took off from there.
Stoesz meshed his first free throw with 15:51 showing. RL-B’s Kyle Wendland then picked up a loose ball and scored in the paint, making it a 5-4 ballgame 31 seconds later.
Bargen answered with a 3-pointer from the top of the key and then scored on a break-away layup, as the Bears claimed a 10-4 lead with 13:06 on the clock.
Meyer scored on another drive to the hoop at the 12:52 mark, but RL-B didn’t score again until Cody Dean’s follow-up putback basket with 3:00 showing.
Meanwhile, as the Raiders were stuck on six points for nearly 10 minutes, the Bears ripped off 18 straight points to build a 28-6 bulge with 3:39 to go. Stoesz started the burst with two trips to the line, dropping in all four free throws to make it 14-6 at the 12:03 mark.
Stoesz then passed to Caleb Bargen for an interior basket before Mitchel Erickson found Holmen for a fast-break hoop, extending the margin to 18-6 with 10:56 remaining.
A 3-point play by Caleb Bargen — off a transition assist from Micah Bargen — was the next highlight in MLC’s scoring spree. Stoesz added a trio of free throws in that span, while Micah Bargen provided an offensive-rebound bucket and also passed to Holmen for a transition hoop to help the Bears take a 22-point cushion at 28-6.
Dean snapped RL-B’s scoring drought with an offensive-rebound basket at the three-minute mark, and Darrin Schmitz (six points) scored in the lane with 2:29 showing to make it 29-10.
Close-range baskets by Stoesz and Micah Bargen gave MLC a 23-point lead (33-10) before RL-B’s Cole Bosma knocked down a shot from the right elbow with five seconds left, sending the teams into the halftime break with a 33-12 score.
Bosma sparks RL-B with 11 second-half points
Bosma, who scored 11 of his team-high 13 points in the second half, spearheaded a 14-8 Raiders’ run that trimmed the gap to 41-26 at the 12:48 mark. He started the brief rally by converting a layup into a steal 35 seconds in.
Two straight buckets by Stoesz lifted the Bears back up by 23 (37-14) with 16:42 showing, and matching baskets by Schmitz and MLC’s Ben Raabe made it 39-16 a bit later.
Meyer then connected on a 3-pointer from the right corner before Bosma (four rebounds) sank a pair of free throws after coming up with another steal and getting fouled on his way to the hoop in transition.
Micah Bargen’s second-chance basket made it 41-21, and Bosma then poured in five straight points — a 3-pointer from out top and a 12-footer along the right baseline — to pull RL-B within 15 (41-26) with 12:48 left.
But that’s as close as the Raiders ever got, as Micah Bargen and Cody Klassen scored on back-to-back drives to put MLC up 45-26 at the 11:31 mark. Bosma scored again 17 seconds later for RL-B’s final field goal.
The Raiders’ last seven points came from the free-throw line, beginning when Kurt Schmitz hit one of two at the 7:49 mark. Dean also made one of two with 5:05 to play.
Darrin Schmitz sunk both of his free throws with 4:49 re-maining, while Meyer, Lucky Sayveo and Logan Ellenbecker each added one free throw in the final 4:03.
RL-B is back in action tonight, traveling to Edgerton to take on Southwest Christian in a Red Rock Conference matchup. MLC travels to play Rochester Area Home School Saturday.
RL-B 12 23 — 35
MLC 33 22 — 55
RL-B (3FG-2FG-FT-TP): Bosma 1-4-2-13, Sayveo 0-0-1-1, Meyer 1-2-1-8, D. Schmitz 0-2-2-6, Ellenbecker 0-0-1-1, Dean 0-1-1-3, K. Schmitz 0-0-1-1, Wend-land 0-1-0-2. Totals: 2-10-9-35.
MLC (3FG-2FG-FT-TP): Klassen 0-2-0-4, Holmen 0-5-1-11, M. Bargen 1-7-0-17, Stoesz 0-4-8-16, C. Bargen 0-2-1-5, Raabe 0-1-0-2. Totals: 1-21-10-55.