NEW ULM - After edging out St. Clair on Thursday, Minnesota Valley Lutheran was looking to build some momentum with a win on senior night heading into the playoffs.
There was just one thing that stood in the Chargers' way - The 20-5 United South Central Rebels.
USC jumped out to a double-digit lead just minutes into the game and sophomore Steve Voigt led the Rebels to a 70-55 victory on Monday night.
Voigt led the Rebels with 21 points, while MVL seniors Nate Siemers and Nate Schoenherr led the way for the Chargers with 15 and 10 points, respectively.
MVL head coach Craig Morgan said his team hasn't been on the court for a few days and that is why they struggled.
"We haven't practiced in a couple of days - and it showed," he said. "We'll have to circle the wagon and get ready for the second season."
USC's tough defense and smooth offense set up a 21-9 lead seven minutes into the game and the Rebel's defense was dominant throughout. MVL finally got past the double-digit threshold with a basket from senior Bobby Tisch less than 10 minutes into the game.
USC proceeded with a 11-2 run to build a 34-13 lead with 1:57 left in the half. However, Siemers made a drive to the basket and picked up a foul adding one more. He followed with a jumper off the glass and Schoenherr scored two more times and the Chargers were down by 14 at the break, 34-20.
Justin Bruns hit a 3-pointer three minutes into the second half to pull the Chargers within 13, but that was as close as they came to catching the Rebels as more scoring spurts buried MVL.
Senior Michael Martens' hook shot with 8:17 remaining and a Tisch turnaround jumper in the paint with less than five minutes to play to cut USC's lead to 62-45.
Ryan Grunke scored two baskets down the stretch and Schoenherr added one more spectacular play with an up-and-under to the basket in the final seconds to end the regular season.
MVL has now lost five of its last eight games and Morgan said his team doesn't have a lot of energy heading into the playoffs.
"Right now we don't have any momentum," he said. "We have to refocus [today] in practice for the next two days and get ready for Sleepy Eye."
The No. 6 Chargers will host No. 11 Sleepy Eye in the first round of the Section 2A, North Subsection playoffs at 7 p.m. Thursday.
"They [Sleepy Eye] are a good ball club," Morgan said. "They shoot well and can rebound well."
Cole Wersal has been a major contributor for the Chargers along side fellow senior Siemers and Morgan said Wersal cracked his collar bone two games back and is out for the post-season.
"We just got to find some guys that want to step up for Wersal," Morgan said.