PREP BOYS BASKETBALL: Big 2nd half sparks Luverne over FuldaFULDA — A balanced scoring attack and stellar defense helped the Luverne Cardinals claim a 50-35 victory over the Fulda Raiders on Saturday night in a non-conference boys basketball game.
By: Lucas Knutson, Worthington Daily Globe
FULDA — A balanced scoring attack and stellar defense helped the Luverne Cardinals claim a 50-35 victory over the Fulda Raiders on Saturday night in a non-conference boys basketball game.
The game was the nightcap of a girls-boys basketball doubleheader that was a part of the Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Fundraiser event honoring long-time Fulda teacher and coach Harvey Carroll.
“It was a fun night,” said Fulda head coach Colby Pack, who did much of the planning for the well-attended occasion. “Both games were pretty close and entertaining throughout, and I was pleased with the way our kids matched up and played with a very good Luverne team. We did a great job, defensively, in the first half, but then struggled to score for much of the second half.”
Fulda, which is 2-3 overall, emerged from a back-and-forth first half with 21-20 lead before going scoreless for the first 4 minutes, 38 seconds of the second half.
Luverne (4-1) scored seven straight points in that opening span after the intermission and maintained at least a four-point advantage the rest of the way — outscoring Fulda 30-14 in the final 18 minutes — to secure a 15-point triumph on the road.
“Any win on the road is a good one, and we’ll certainly take this one,” Luverne head coach Tom Rops said. “I don’t think that we played very sharp, offensively, but our defensive effort was good and carried us for the most part. Fulda came out ready to play and gave us a real test, that’s for sure.”
Fulda’s Todd Peterson and Trevor Ruesch both scored a game-best 12 points and accounted for the Raiders’ first 12 points of the game. Peterson dialed in a pair of 3-pointers, while Ruesch attacked the lane for a trio of baskets to spark a 9-0 run for the Raiders that gave them a 12-9 lead at the 8:18 mark.
Luverne had just rattled off nine straight points of its own prior to that after Peterson’s 3-pointer started the scoring a minute into the game. Brett Heronimus (10 points) scored six of those points, while Matt Overgaard (six points) netted a 3-pointer to give the Cardinals a 9-3 lead.
Kole Kramer sank two free throws to put the Raiders up 14-11 with 7:48 remaining, but the Cardinals regained a 15-14 lead after Matt Arends (six points) connected on a 3-pointer with 6:48 left before halftime.
Fulda’s Andy Oakland (five points) answered with a 3-pointer to make it 17-15 before Ruesch scored on an open-court drive to give the Raiders a 19-15 lead with 3:32 in the first half.
A 3-point play by Alex Weis (nine points) and two free throws from Heronimus put Luverne ahead 20-19 with less than a minute remaining, but Josh Ramerth meshed two foul shots to send Fulda — which effectively played a 1-2-2 half-court zone defense to slow down Luverne — into the locker room with a 21-20 edge.
“It’s a testament to our kids for executing well, defensively, and holding a team like Luverne to 20 points in the first half,” Pack said. “Luverne scored 84 points in two of its first four games. But we matched their physicality and were able to stay with them in the first half, which is something that we can hang our hats on and build from going forward.”
Luverne — which outscored Fulda 19-4 from the free-throw line — implemented various defensive schemes throughout the game, looking to double-team and trap whenever possible.
“We tried a 2-2-1 half-court trap for much of the first half and then switched to more of a fullcourt man-to-man, run-and-jump press in the second half,” Rops said. “We wanted to try and get Fulda to play a little bit faster than they might be accustomed to, because we know that they do run excellent offense against man-to-man defense in halfcourt situations.”
The Cardinals were able to force some turnovers and rushed shots on the Raiders’ part to start the second half and held Fulda scoreless until Nathan Getting’s driving basket at the 13:22 mark.
Meanwhile, Josh Slieter (10 points, all in the second half) and Arends scored on cuts in the lane for Luverne. Heronimus then switched hands (right to left) on a nifty drive for a basket to help give the Cardinals a 27-21 lead at the 14:25 mark.
Blake Ziegler (seven points) countered Getting’s hoop with a bucket off the drive, and the Cardinals led 30-23 after Weis went 1 of 2 from the free-throw line with 12:27 to go.
A 3-pointer by Peterson and a driving basket by Oakland twice helped Fulda pull within four (30-26 and 32-28), but Luverne put together an 8-0 spurt to build a 40-28 lead with 6:52 on the clock.
A right-wing 3-pointer by Overgaard and a slashing basket along the baseline by Slieter — who later scored on a nice inside pivot move to make it 43-30 — highlighted the Cardinals’ eight-point run.
Ruesch (runner in the lane) and Peterson (3-pointer from the right wing) each scored to trim the gap to eight (43-35) with 2:17 remaining, but Luverne scored the final seven points — including two from Zane Hiller on a post move — to secure a 50-35 victory.
Luverne plays at Pipestone Area on Tuesday, while Fulda travels to play Springfield tonight.
Luverne 50, Fulda 35
Luverne (4-1): Arends 2 1-2 6, Overgaard 2 0-0 6, Heronimus 3 4-8 10, Slieter 3 4-4 10, Ziegler 1 5-8 7, Weis 2 5-7 9, Hiller 1 0-0 2. Totals: 14 19-29 50.
Fulda (2-3): Ramerth 0 2-2 2, Ruesch 6 0-0 12, Kramer 0 2-2 2, Holt 0 0-2 0, Getting 1 0-0 2, Peterson 4 0-0 12, Oakland 2 0-0 5. Totals: 13 4-6 35.
Halftime: Fulda 21, Luverne 20. 3-Point Goals: Luverne 3 (Overgaard 2, Arends); Fulda 5 (Peterson 4, Oakland).