NEW ULM - When Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop and Minnesota Valley Lutheran met Monday night, one thing was for certain - one of the teams had to break its three-game losing streak.
GFW broke its streak with a 75-51 Tomahawk Conference boys basketball victory.
MVL got the opening tip and scored the game's first basket. Both teams would go on scoring streaks a few points long, keeping the game close.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop’s Seth Schuette (10) takes a shot as Kris Goetzke of Minnesota Valley Lutheran defends on the play during the first half Monday at MVL.
At 11:08 of the first half, GFW took the lead for good at 15-13 on a basket by Richard Jensen. The Thunderbirds' defense stiffened and began putting together a combination of good defense, going inside drawing fouls and rebounding well. This led GFW to build a 28-19 lead.
The Chargers countered with a full-court press and were able to put together a 6-0 run to close out the first half. GFW led 36-29 at halftime.
GFW opened the second half with a 13-3 run to build its lead to 49-33. Neither team played well the second half, with turnovers and missed shots being the theme for the balance of the contest.
The Thunderbirds continued to make baskets when necessary. This resulted in a 66-39 lead late in the game. The Chargers didn't go home without a fight as they scored 12 more points to make the final score 75-51.
Kris Goetzke led the Chargers by scoring 16 points. Nick Dewanz scored 12 points and Justin Bruns and Ryan Grunke each scored 10 points.
Cade Leitheiser and Seth Schuette each scored 15 points for the Thunderbirds, while teammate Jack Bussler added 10 points and Brett Rickheim added 10 points.
"GFW shot better, and they played hard,"?MVL head coach Craig Morgan said. "Their defense made us anxious and impatient; which, at times, got us into trouble."
MVL (4-21, 4-12) the No. 10 seed, will travel to Sleepy Eye to play the No. 7 Indians (9-15, 5-11) Friday night in the first round of Section 2A playoff action.
GFW (8-15, 6-10) hosts LeSueur-Henderson Friday night.