NEW ULM - Minnesota Valley Lutheran head boys basketball coach Craig Morgan was pleased with his team's play in the first half against Redwood Valley Tuesday night.
The second 18 minutes of the game were a different story.
Redwood Valley held MVL to only three field goals in the second half and just 14 points as the Cardinals ran by the Chargers 78-43 in non-conference play.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
Redwood Valley’s Mitchell Fischer (22) lays the ball in over Justin Bruns of Minnesota Valley Lutheran during the first half Tuesday at MVL.
Alec Koster led the Cardinals (15-5) with a game-high 25 points. Mitchell Fischer added 18.
The trio of Chad Lease, Justin Bruns and Nick Dewanz each scored 12 for MVL.
For Morgan and the Chargers, it was a tale of two halves.
"We played well in the first half," he said. "And we even thought that at halftime that we could have done better. We got down, but came back."
Redwood Valley built leads of 7-0 and 19-7 before the Chargers rallied and slowly cut into the lead, slicing it to a 25-24 deficit at the 4:26 mark on a Bruns 3-pointer, two field goals by Bruns and another Bruns basket off of a Cardinal turnover.
Redwood Valley increased its lead to 34-26 on 3-pointers from Koster and Adam Hengel before Koster buried a 3 for the eight-point lead.
Koster's third 3-pointer of the first half saw the Cardinals holding a precarious 37-29 lead at halftime.
But any momentum that MVL may have had coming out of the locker room at halftime quickly vanished in the first five minutes of the second half.
The Cardinals outscored the Chargers 10-1 to take a comfortable 47-30 lead and increased that to 52-32 just over six minutes into the second half.
While Redwood Valley found its shooting eyes, MVL was guilty of turnovers and miscues.
The Chargers went ice cold from the field, getting their first field goal at the 8:39 mark of the second half when Dewanz hit for a basket.
By then, Redwood Valley had built a 59-34 lead on a Cade Johnson 3.
"We did not rotate well on defense or stay in front of people on defense," Morgan said. "They have quick kids, but we need to play better defense."
Morgan said that Redwood Valley did not make any adjustments at halftime
"They just kept playing what they were playing. They just executed better," he said. "We panicked in the second half in what we did. They played some real good defense of their own. We threw the ball away quite a bit."