NEW ULM - Minnesota Valley Lutheran coach Craig Morgan did not like how the game was going in the beginning for the Chargers.
"We were kind of in a funk offensively," Morgan said. "I thought, 'lets turn it up a little bit', and that kind of got us going."
The Chargers did just that as they held off Sleepy Eye down the stretch and won 66-59 in boys Tomahawk Conference basketball action on Friday night.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
Minnesota Valley Lutheran’s Nick Dewanz (40) attempts to block a shot from Sleepy Eye’s Matt Schroepfer (5) during the first half Friday at MVL.
Sleepy Eye started the game by going up 10-4 in the early going and was executing its half-court offense. That is when the Chargers turned up the tempo.
After a layup by Charger junior Nick Dewanz tied the game at 14 apiece, MVL ended the half on a 11-5 run that was capped off by Josh Koelpin's jumper as time expired which put the Chargers up 25-19 at the end of the first half.
Both teams started the second half a little sluggish, but a 3-point basket by Koelpin pushed the Charger lead to 11. That started a stretch where the Chargers scored 19 out of the next 24 points scored in the game to put MVL up 46-28 in the second half.
"We just did not come out with energy tonight," Indians head coach Brian Polesky said. "Credit MVL, they played harder there for most of the game."
MVL allowed Sleepy Eye to get back in the game though down the stretch as the Chargers only made 6-of-12 free throws down the stretch.
"I give Sleepy Eye a lot of credit," Morgan said. "Brandon Polesky really wanted the ball and took over things there to get them in the game."
Brandon Polesky scored 10 out of his game-high 26 points down the stretch to close the MVL lead to seven on a jumper at the 1:31 mark. Charger senior Justin Bruns then made two free throws to clinch the game for MVL.
The Chargers were balanced offensively as four players scored in double figures on the night. Bruns led MVL with 18 points while Dewanz added 13 points of his own.
Other contributers for MVL were Koelpin, who scored 10 points, and Kris Goetzke, who scored 10 points for the Chargers.
MVL (3-15) will next travel to Sleepy Eye St. Mary's on Monday night.
Sleepy Eye (6-11) will host Tomahawk Conference leader Cedar Mountain/Comfrey on Monday.