Cathedral tops Norwood Young America in boys’ basketball

Staff photo by Steve Muscatello New Ulm Cathedral’s Alex Hillesheim drives between a pair of Norwood-Young America defenders as he drives to the basket during the first half Monday at CHS. For more photos of this event go to cu.nujournal.com

NEW ULM — A late push by New Ulm Cathedral led to a 69-66 down-to-the-wire victory over Norwood-Young America on Monday night in nonconference boys’ basketball action.

The Greyhounds (4-2) had a balanced attack again, with four players in double-digit points. Alex Hillesheim led the Greyhounds with 18 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals, while Nate Hauser added 18 points and eight rebounds.

Jon Zinniel had 17 points, eight rebounds and three steals for Cathedral, and Jacob Manderfeld added 13 points and two steals.

The Greyhounds trailed 61-50 with 7:26 left in the game, which forced Cathedral coach Alan Woitas to use a timeout. Cathedral went on a run after the timeout, cutting the NYA lead to just 1, 66-65, after a steal and lay-in by Hillesheim with less than three minutes to go.

After Hauser drew a foul on a rebound, NYA’s Reed Wischnack picked up a technical foul after arguing the call. Hauser missed on the first two technical free throws, but he made both double-bonus free throws to give Cathedral a 67-66 lead with 1:33 remaining.

Zinniel then had a big steal and dished it down court to Manderfeld for a layup and a 69-66 lead. The Greyhounds closed things out after a Zinniel rebound on a missed Raiders’ bonus free throw.

“We really ramped up our intensity,” Woitas said. “I think there was about seven and a half minutes to go in the second half, and we weren’t playing up to our capabilities. Defensively, we forced some turnovers that got us some easy baskets, and those guys really did a nice job second half with bringing a little bit more energy and creating some turnovers.”

The Greyhounds and Raiders started the game trading buckets before NYA built a 10-7 lead to force a timeout by the Greyhounds with 13:48 left in the first half. NYA built an 18-9 lead midway through the first half before Cathedral went on a solid run to close out the first half.

Back-to-back 3s by Hauser and Hillesheim gave Cathedral a 23-22 lead with less than five minutes to play in the half. A Zinniel jumper gave Cathedral a 39-31 lead at halftime.

The Greyhounds struggled to start the second half and watched their lead evaporate after a layup by Mark Plante tied things up at 41-41. Logan Corlett hit two big 3s during the Raiders’ run, which gave his squad the 61-50 lead before the Greyhounds were able to strike back and walk off of their home court with the win.

Woitas said that he has a good group of leaders and said that despite the poor start to both halves, his guys found a way to finish strong mentally and score some buckets.

Cathedral travels to play at 7:30 p.m. against Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity on Tuesday.

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