By Jake Calhoun
Journal Sports Writer
NEW ULM - Kyle Kubesh scored 29 points, pulled down 20 rebounds and blocked four shots in Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart's 60-54 win against New Ulm Cathedral on Tuesday night.
The Greyhounds (5-12, 3-8 Tomahawk) had trouble defending Kubesh, who shot 7-of-8 for 15 points in the first half and 13-of-18 overall, without someone matching his 6-foot-7 stature inside.
"He's a very good player, he's a tough matchup," said Cathedral coach Alan Woitas. "We don't have the big guy that matches up with him too well and he killed us on the glass tonight and he just got too many good looks. Keeping him off the block is a tough thing to do on any given night."
Aside from Kubesh's success in the post, the Mustangs (8-8, 6-5) nearly squandered an 18-point lead in the second half. BLHS coach Scott Powers said his players have not gotten past the ego problems that plagued them in a 58-47 loss to Minnesota Valley Lutheran on Jan. 21.
"We're still working at that, we've gotten better at that," Powers said. "We've emphasized [that] we need to pass the basketball one more time - if you think you've got a good shot, there might be a better shot."
The Mustangs built a 35-22 lead by halftime thanks to 10 points from fellow senior Tate Lange to complement Kubesh's 15. BLHS also held Cathedral to 30 percent shooting from the floor in the first half.
"The first half, we came out a little flat," Woitas said. "We can't afford to do that."
BLHS jumped out to a 48-30 lead after its 13-8 run to start the second half. But junior Collin Helget picked up the slack for Cathedral in the second half, scoring 12 of his 14 points in helping it close in on BLHS.
Jacob Gangelhoff aided the attack, scoring nine of his team-high 17 points in the second half.
"[Helget] and Jacob Gangelhoff both did a nice job of attacking the hoop all night," Woitas said. "Collin had a tough matchup with Kubesh defensively, so he had to really step out and start knocking down some outside shots and he was able to do that and make that adjustment."
An 11-0 run for Cathedral narrowed BLHS's lead to seven at 48-41, during which James Herzog scored six of his eight points coming off the bench.
BLHS accrued its eighth and ninth team fouls during that stretch, which resulted in successful one-and-one free-throw conversions for Helget and Herzog.
However, Kubesh tallied his final 10 points from that point on to secure the six-point victory.
With the win, BLHS is now in fourth place in the Tomahawk Conference with a 6-5 league mark. It sits behind Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop (10-6, 9-2), Springfield (7-8, 6-3) and Sleepy Eye St. Mary's (9-6, 6-4) in the race for the conference title.
"You've got to look at Springfield and GFW as the favorites right now - they've handled it better than anybody," Powers said. "We've had a couple bad losses where we didn't play and we've only got ourselves to blame. We just want to finish out strong."
BLHS will play GFW at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday in Fairfax, while Cathedral will play 7:30 p.m. on Friday at Springfield.
BL-H-S 35 25 - 60
Cathedral 22 32 - 54
BUFFALO LAKE-HECTOR-STEWART (60)
Swanson 2-3 3-3 7, Nelson 2-10 1-2 5, Buboltz 1-4 0-1 2, Lange 5-14 1-3 14, Kubesh 13-18 3-3 29, Mellies 0-1 0-0 0, Schulte 0-1 0-0 0, Werner 1-3 1-2 3, Almich 0-0 0-0 0.
NEW ULM CATHEDRAL (54)
Guggisberg 0-6 0-0 0, Skillings 1-10 1-3 4, Gangelhoff 8-15 1-2 17, Helget 6-11 2-4 14, Schwartz 2-9 3-4 7, Herzog 2-7 3-4 8, Franta 2-3 0-2 4, Cooper 0-0 0-0 0.