Balanced attack leads MVL

Staff photo by Steve Muscatello Minnesota Valley Lutheran’s Jake Kettner looks to block a shot from Sleepy Eye’s Ben Laffen during the first half Tuesday at MVL. For more photos of this event go to

NEW ULM — Just a few days after competing against some tough nonconference competition at the Martin Luther College Tip-off Tournament, Minnesota Valley Lutheran got back into familiar territory with its Tomahawk Conference schedule on Tuesday.

The Chargers got out to a big lead in the first half and carried that over into the second half and defeated Sleepy Eye 81-55 in boys’ basketball action.

Jake Kettner led the Chargers with 23 points. Mason Cox scored 17 points and Jace Marotz finished with 14 points.

Ben Laffen led Sleepy Eye with 17 points and Nathan Walter scored 12 points. Carter Brinkman scored 10 for the Indians.

Kettner scored the first 5 points for the Chargers and they led 15-7 after Marotz hit back-to-back baskets.

The quick start seemed to buck an early trend for MVL this year.

“I think it’s very important [to get the lead early], we’ve come out weak for the first couple of minutes of many games and out of halftime we come out weak, too,” Kettner said. 

Marotz kept the early MVL momentum going with a 3 to make it 18-9 at the 10:55 mark and another bucket by Kettner pushed the MVL advantage to 22-11.

MVL’s depth also was a factor in the first half and the Chargers ran into halftime with a 45-30 lead.

Kettner said the depth has paid off.

“I think it does, it gets to be a long season towards the playoffs, it’s big, especially with pressing the way we did,” Kettner said. 

The Indians did play better in the second half, but at that point the Chargers’ lead was stretched out too much.

MVL (3-1, 2-1) resumes Tomahawk action when it hosts Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart (3-1) on Friday.

Sleepy Eye (2-4, 1-1) will try to snap a two-game losing streak when it travels to Cedar Mountain/Comfrey on Friday.