PREP BOYS BASKETBALL: Windom defeats Martin County WestWINDOM — Coming up with just enough defensive stops and shooting 13-for-18 from the free-throw line in the final five minutes Saturday night, the Windom Eagles earned a 63-58 victory over the Martin County West Mavericks in the championship game of the 11th Annual Windom Holiday Classic boys’ basketball tournament.
By: Lucas Knutson, Worthington Daily Globe
WINDOM — Coming up with just enough defensive stops and shooting 13-for-18 from the free-throw line in the final five minutes Saturday night, the Windom Eagles earned a 63-58 victory over the Martin County West Mavericks in the championship game of the 11th Annual Windom Holiday Classic boys’ basketball tournament.
Andy Pfeffer (five assists) and Collin Lovell each scored 15 points to lead Windom (4-4) and combined to go 9-for-12 at the free-throw line down the stretch, as the Eagles finished 22-for-30 as a team from the foul line to secure the title at their own tournament.
“We were more aggressive in the second half and got the ball into the middle of MCW’s matchup zone defense,” Windom head coach Dane Nielsen said after the game. “That helped us draw a few fouls and get to the free-throw line, where we shot pretty well. We also did a tremendous job defensively and came away with a very big win over a good team.”
The Eagles trailed only twice — both times (10-9 and 25-23) in the first half — throughout the game and built a six-point advantage with 7:01 remaining in the second half. Back-to-back 3-pointers by Lovell and Jacob Gotto, plus a 15-footer along the baseline by Nathan Remmers (12 points, 10 rebounds), put Windom up 48-42.
However, MCW’s Austin Krumwiede scored six of his game-high 22 points in just over a minute’s span to tie it at 48 with 5:16 to go.
Free throws and defensive stops then allowed Windom to score seven straight points and take a 55-48 lead with 3:22 left. Pfeffer, Lovell and Trenton Bever (eight points, six rebounds) each netted two free throws in that sequence, while Remmers added one.
A 3-pointer by the Mavericks’ Cordell Weber (12 points) quickly made it 55-51, but Lovell answered with two more free throws and a runner along the baseline to give the Eagles a 59-51 lead with 1:37 to go.
A tip-in basket by Kyle Brolsma (11 points) and a 3-pointer by Jake Faber then trimmed the gap to four (60-56) with 55 seconds left, as MCW refused to go away quietly.
But steals by Gotto (seven points) and Lovell in the final 36 seconds, plus a trio of free throws (two by Lovell, one by Pfeffer), allowed Windom to go up 63-56 and hang on for a 63-58 victory.
The Eagles almost always had a slight lead during the first half, as well. Mid-range shots by Remmers and Pfeffer gave Windom an early 4-0 lead at the 16:25 mark.
A pair of jumpers by Weber and a 17-footer by Krumwiede evened the score at six a bit later before Windom’s Jacob Johnson dialed in a 3-pointer from the left corner.
Krumwiede countered with a driving basket and two free throws to put MCW (6-2) up 10-9 with 10:49 remaining.
A 3-pointer by Gotto and a basket down low by Bever (Pfeffer assist) put Windom up 14-10, and the Eagles had a 19-14 cushion at the 6:28 mark following another interior basket by Bever and a 3-pointer from Kyle Antes.
The Mavericks came back and took a 25-23 lead with 2:29 on the clock behind a 3-pointer by Mitchell Sitzmann (eight points) and a strong offensive-rebound basket by Brolsma.
The teams went into the intermission deadlocked at 27, and Windom started the second half on a 7-0 burst. Buckets in the paint by Remmers and Bever sandwiched a 3-pointer by Pfeffer to give the Eagles a 34-27 lead with 15:02 remaining.
MCW, though, scored 13 of the next 19 points and pulled even at 40 by the 8:15 mark. A pair of transition hoops (Sitzmann to Krumwiede, and Krumwiede to Weber) preceded a 3-point play by Sitzmann to highlight the Mavericks’ seven-point run.
Windom then went up 48-42 and was solid at the free-throw line down the stretch to seal a five-point win.
“We weathered the storm a little bit there midway through the second half,” Nielsen said. “We had a couple of possessions where we turned the ball over, and MCW took advantage. But we responded well to some adversity and got the job done when it counted.”
The Eagles host Marshall Thursday, while MCW plays at Jackson County Central the same night.