Waseca 90, St. James Area 51
The Bluejays (10-0, 6-0 Big South Conference) continue to run roughshod over the southern Minnesota basketball scene with the Cardinals being their latest victim.
Waseca comes in at number one in the latest Associated Press Top 10 poll and second in Minnesota-Scores' QRF ranking system behind Minneapolis North (7-0, 7-0 Minneapolis City Conference). The Bluejays average margin of victory this season is 32.6 points.
Kyreese Willingham led the Bluejays in scoring with 22 points. Zach Hoehn scored 15 points on 5-of-5 shooting from beyond the arc. Ryan Dufault (14), Elijah Breck (12), Andrew Morgan (9), Shaun Hulscher (7), Parker Link (5), Max Gaytko (2), Dravyn Spies (2), and Preston Mansfield (2) also scored for Waseca.
Waseca returns to the court on Friday against St. Peter (6-4, 4-3).
Maple River 72, NRHEG 31
Maple River (10-1, 9-0 Gopher Conference) continued their run of dominance Friday night, dispatching the NRHEG Panthers (3-8, 3-5) without much struggle.
"Maple River is the best team in our Conference for a reason and we found out tonight," NRHEG coach Isaiah Lundberg said. "We stayed close for most of the first half and then we got into some foul trouble and put them on the line for most of the half. I thought our defense in the first half was good and did a lot of good things and on offense we did some good things too, but as some of our games have gone, we just can't shoot good enough to score points."
Kordell Schlaak once again led the Panthers in scoring with 10. Porter Peterson (7), Daxter Lee (5), Ashton Johnson (4), Jaxon Beck (3), and Benjamin Schoenrock (2) also contributed points for NRHEG.
The Panthers return to action on Tuesday night at home against Bethlehem Academy (2-7, 1-6).
Mankato Loyola 73, JWP 47
The Bulldogs (4-7, 2-7 Valley Conference) played a good second half against the Crusaders (10-1, 8-1), but it was not enough to overcome Loyola's 23-point halftime lead Friday night.
Landon Dimler (16) and Memphis James (15) accounted for 66% of JWP's total points. Kaden Johnson (8), Austin Westphal (5), Cody Quast (2), and Karson Lindsay (1) also scored. Loyola outscored JWP 42-16 in the post while both teams converted seven 3-pointers.
The Bulldogs return to the court Monday night against Alden-Conger (0-8, 0-8).
Waseca 60, Lester Prairie 56
The Bluejays (5-5, 3-2 Big South Conference) won Friday night against a good Bulldogs squad (8-3, 8-2 MN Classical Athletic Association) in a game that was a late addition to the schedule. Waseca was originally slated to play Saturday against St. James Area; however, the game was postponed — a make up date has yet to be announced — leaving an open game for the Bluejays. Lester Prairie filled the void Thursday evening, quick enough for the game to take place Friday night.
The Bulldogs took a 28-27 lead into halftime, fueled by a 10-4 run to end the half. However, Waseca was able to control the paint and the boards in the second half, which ultimately propelled them to victory; the Bluejays outscored the Bulldogs 32-22 in the post.
Melady Renteria led Waseca in scoring with 18 points; she also contributed eight rebounds, five assists, and three steals. Kloe Wadd registered a 16-point, 10-rebound double-double to go along with three blocks. Camryn McQuery just missed a double-double of her own with 10 points and eight boards. Brittney Draeger also filled up the boxscore with eight points, eight rebounds, five assists, and two steals. Sam Azure (5) and Gabby Rodriguez (3) rounded out the scoring for Waseca.
The Bluejays return to action on Tuesday when they go up against Belle Plaine (8-2, 7-1 Minnesota River Conference).
Maple River 49, NRHEG 36
The Panthers (4-7, 2-6 Gopher Conference) simply could not keep pace with the Eagles (5-5, 4-4) Friday night. NRHEG trailed by six at halftime, but poor shooting overal combined with a hot streak by Maple River in the second half ultimately proved costly.
"We played hard but had a rough night shooting," NRHEG coach Onika Peterson said. "Erin Jacobson and Andy Briggs both added a spark to the game tonight, but overall tonight wasn't our night."
Jacobson led the Panthers in scoring with 12 points; she also added 11 rebounds to secure a double-double. Briggs (7), Faith Nielsen (5), Rhys Martin (4), Hallie Schultz (2), Kendall Johnson (2), Sidney Schultz (2), and Sarah George (2) also scored for NRHEG.
The Panthers return to the court on Tuesday against Bethlehem Academy (1-8, 1-7).
Waseca 7, Luverne 1
The Bluejays (8-3, 8-3 Big South Conference) remained in first place in the conference standings as they easily defeated the Cardinals (3-7, 3-5); Waseca is tied with New Ulm (8-2, 8-0) with 16 points.
Kyle Ahlschlager returned to his dominant ways, scoring five points and registering a hat trick in the win; Ahlschlager's performance leaves him tied with Hermantown's Zam Plante for most goals scored with 23 and second in total points (42), five behind Maple Grove star and Michigan Tech commit Kyle Kukkonen (47). Riley Forshee, Leo Harguth, and Charlie Huttemier also scored goals for the Bluejays.
The two teams rematch on Tuesday in Waseca.
Luverne 10, Waseca 0
The Cardinals (8-2, 6-0 Big South Conference) controlled the game from puck drop, outshooting the Bluejays (0-9, 0-9) 57-13 en route to their commanding victory.
The two teams rematch on Tuesday in Luverne.