MVL throttles BLHS

Kettner’s 21 points leads Chargers to 78-45 victory

File photo by Steve Muscatello Minnesota Valley Lutheran’s Jace Marotz drives to the basket in a recent game at Martin Lutheran College.

NEW ULM — Having scored at least 90 points in the last two games, Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart was certainly capable of putting points on the board.

Minnesota Valley Lutheran was well aware of that coming in and focused on slowing the pace down and playing defense, a plan that worked in a 78-48 Tomahawk Conference win against BLHS.

Junior Jake Kettner scored 21 points, had four rebounds, four steals and four assists as the Chargers improved to 4-1 on the year.

Trent Weispfenning led the Mustangs (3-2) with 19 points and nine rebounds.

“We worked on a few things [in practice] and we just wanted to see if we could bring them into the game,” MVL coach Craig Morgan said. “We knew that they had put on some points and we wanted to try to slow them down a bit. We wanted to play a little bit better defense than the guys have been playing and I think the guys really rose to the occasion tonight.”

The Mustangs were really never in the game from the start. The Chargers raced out to a 19-6 lead to start the game thanks in part to 9-0 run by Kettner and the Chargers. Kettner scored all 9 of those points, highlighted by a 3 that forced BLHS coach Scott Powers to call a timeout with 11:57 left in the first half.

While the Chargers did slow it down a little bit, they also pushed it when needed. That up-tempo style led to a 36-12 advantage after a basket with 6:30 left in the half. MVL went into halftime with a 45-18 lead.

“We’re going to have be able to do that with different teams, we just can’t run,” Morgan said. “We’re going to have to get in the half-court game and that helps out too.”

BLHS was able to hit some shots from outside in the second half, but at that point, it was MVL’s game. The Chargers were able to use their bench late in the game to give Morgan a better idea of some of the guys deeper in the rotation.

“What they were doing was great, because they learned what was out there,” Morgan said. “They saw what was out there and what the other guys were doing and they went and did the same thing. They weren’t just sitting there.”

Jordan Fischer came off the bench to score 8 points for the Chargers and Mason Cox finished with 7 points.

Stefan Johnson scored 8 points and Connor Hettinger scored 6 for the Mustangs.

MVL is at Wabasso on Monday and BLHS is at the Nicollet tournament on December 27.