Cardinals outlast Eagles in overtime

Staff photo by Steve Muscatello New Ulm’s Reece Melby goes up for a shot after getting past Fairmont defender Brady Allen during the first half Friday at New Ulm High School. For more photos of this event go to

NEW ULM– The New Ulm Eagles boys’ basketball team lost in overtime to the Fairmont Cardinals 66-57 in a Big South Conference game on Friday.

The Eagles (5-3) opened up an early lead, taking advantage of a non-pressure defense by the Cardinals (6-1). Defensively New Ulm held Fairmont to low scoring in the opening minutes of the first half.

The Eagles held a 22-7 lead after Reece Melby dropped two consecutive 3-pointers.

“The last few games we talked about setting the tempo in the first five minutes of the game and they did a nice job of that, they gave us some good looks at the rim and we finished those looks we have the confidence to do that with anybody,” New Ulm coach Steve Foley said.

The Eagles maintained a 26-16 lead after the Cardinals started hitting shoots from outside the paint. Fairmont added pressure to New Ulm forcing passing and turnovers on the hands of the Eagles.

“We maintained our composure and we have talked about that in other games, have trust in your teammates and they really do,” Foley said.

Fairmont continued to close the scoring deficit with under two minutes to play in the first, the Cardinals trailed by 2 points. Melby Hit another 3-pointer from deep for some breathing room going into the half.

The Eagles led the first half 28-23 and Melby led the scoring in the first half with 15 points.

With 12:29 left in the game Fairmont came within 1 point after Brady Allen hit both free-throws to make it 36-35.

Both teams recorded takeaways under the net as the game stayed within 1 point before Fairmont earned its first lead, of the game, at 40-39 with under nine minutes left to play.

Fairmont’s Allen hit four consecutive 3-point shots uncontested from deep, forcing New Ulm to spread out.

Melby tied the game at 50 with under a minute left to play in regulation.

The Cardinals fouled against New Ulm’s Foley putting him at the line for two with the Eagles trailing 52-50. Foley hit both free throws to tie the game at 52 and send the game into overtime.

“We felt positive having come back and tied the game, going into overtime we lost a little bounce in our step and started to get down on ourselves; we competed and we will get better at it,” coach Foley said.

Allen then hit both his free throws for the first points in overtime and the Cardinals led 54-52. A blocking foul on the Eagles put the Cardinals back to the free throw line and a missed rebound by Fairmont gave New Ulm the ball still trailing by two.

Melby dropped two points from outside the paint to tie the overtime period with two minutes left to play.

But Fairmont went on a late run to put the game away.

Melby led the Eagles with 22 points, Foley tallied 14 points and Matt Janke ended with 13 points.

New Ulm will travel to the Norwood-Young America Tournament on Thursday taking on Mound Westonka at 6 p.m. in Norwood.