Cougars outlast Eagles

Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
Cedar Mountain/Comfrey’s Matthew Larsen looks to take a shot as New Ulm’s Alex Lund (center) and Reece Melby defend on the play Thursday at NUHS.
For more photos of this event go to cu.nujournal.com

Staff photo by Steve Muscatello Cedar Mountain/Comfrey’s Matthew Larsen looks to take a shot as New Ulm’s Alex Lund (center) and Reece Melby defend on the play Thursday at NUHS. For more photos of this event go to cu.nujournal.com

NEW ULM — Going against a school two classes bigger than itself, Cedar Mountain/Comfrey knew that it couldn’t afford to take New Ulm lightly.

The Cougars (21-2) held on late thanks to some free throws in a 69-64 victory against New Ulm (6-17).

CM/C was led by Derek Pendleton’s 21 points. Dylan Hillesheim finished with 20 points and Wambde Diaz scored 16 points, had nine rebounds and nine assist as CM/C won its 10th straight.

“I think we need to pick it up on defense, but overall I think we’re playing really well,” Diaz said. “We haven’t had a complete game yet, hopefully we’ll get it [on Friday at Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s]

CM/C coach Brian Pendleton said that the Eagles played tough all game.

“I think the biggest thing is their athleticism,” coach Pendleton said. “We haven’t run into too many teams that can match up with two of our most athletic guys, Dylan and Derek. Now that’s one area where we’re hurting at is our size. We’ve got some guys that can handle the ball. I know the first half we didn’t shoot the ball well, we were 2-for-13 from 3s, normally we shoot better than that. But New Ulm is a quality team and they’re a bigger school and they’ve got some good athletes coming up.”

The Eagles were led by Connor Foley’s 31 points. Cooper Yackley scored 14 and Reece Melby had seven.

The teams were even in the first half, but the Cougars took a 30-27 lead into halftime.

“We knew coming in that Cedar Mountain is a good team and we scheduled them knowing they’re going to be solid,” New Ulm coach Adam Tyhurst said. “The kids that they play, they can shoot and they’re athletic, so we were really excited for them to come to our spot and play.

“As far as game plan, we wanted to run with them and I thought it was an entertaining game the whole way,” Tyhurst said.

The Cougars went on a run to start the second half, only to see New Ulm answer it with one of its own. CM/C led by as many as eight in the second half and used free throws to hold off New Ulm’s rally.

CM/C is at St. Mary’s on Friday and New Ulm is at Hutchinson on Tuesday.

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