NEW ULM - The old adage about "there's no 'I' in team" may have applied to Tuesday night's boys basketball game between the Minnesota Valley Lutheran Chargers and the Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart Mustangs.
MVL won 58-47 to improve to 6-9 overall, but it was its defense and team play that made the difference against a BLHS squad that has a coach who feels it isn't playing in a cohesive manner.
"We stunk," Mustangs coach Scott Powers said. "We're playing to individual agendas and played as individuals, not a team. We didn't match their intensity. We have four seniors and that shouldn't happen."
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
Minnesota Valley Lutheran’s Chad Lease grabs a rebound away from Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart’s Josh Swanson (10) during the first half Tuesday at MVL.
For more photos of this event go to cu.nujournal.com
For Chargers coach Craig Morgan, the game was a nice rebound from last Thursday's loss to Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop where his team committed too many turnovers.
"We did some nice things tonight; we passed the ball well and didn't have turnovers," Morgan said. "Our defense played well and that's something we've been working on."
MVL took control early as it took a 9-2 lead helped by two baskets from Chad Lease and a 3-pointer by DeAndre Parker.
BLHS then went to its big player in the middle, 6-foot-7 Kyle Kubesh, who dunked twice and scored eight of the Mustangs' next 13 points that put BLHS up 15-11 in a quick lead turnaround.
Parker hit another 3 that tied it at 17-17 and another 3 by Tim Plocher gave MVL a 24-19 haldtime lead. A basket from Josh Swanson pulled the Mustangs to within one, 26-25, early in the second half, but three BLHS turnovers led to six-straight MVL points and a 34-25 MVL margin.
While the Mustangs scored the next four, the Chargers went on a 7-2 run, the final three from Parker. BLHS hung around the lead, down by as little as 46-43 with 4:05 to play, but hurt itself with two more turnovers that started a foul marathon against MVL.
On the night, MVL got the rebound after a second missed free throw a total of four times, with two of them coming in the final three minutes of the game.
This allowed the Chargers to extend their possessions and score their final eight points from the free-throw line to send the Mustangs to a record of 6-8. Kubesh led all scorers with 19, with Josh Swanson adding 13 for BLHS. Lease led MVL with 13, while Josh Wong had 11 and Eric Westphal added 10.
MVL resumes action Friday night when they host Springfield, while BLHS travels to Morgan to take on Cedar Mountain/Comfrey. Both games are at 7:30 p.m.