Column: Cathedral keeps winning streak alive on Friday
It was a big win in more than one way for the New Ulm Cathedral boys’ basketball team Friday night when they defeated Cedar Mountain/Comfrey 66-63.
It was Cathedral’s fifth straight win and it also placed the Greyhounds at 5-1 in the conference and 10-4 overall, just one game behind conference-leading Springfield.
It tied Minnesota Valley Lutheran for that No. 2 spot. It also moved Cathedral into fourth place in the QRF seedings in Section 2A behind Mayer Lutheran, BOLD and Cleveland.
“I thought that we played OK especially in the first half when we made some shots,” head coach Alan Woitas said. “And in the second half we played really good defense and we rebounded the ball exceptionally well.”
Woitas said that the rebounding success that has come in the last three weeks is because his team has put more effort into rebounding and defense.
“Those things have helped us especially this last week,” he said.
Woitas said that this past week “was a really good week for us and next week posses more challenges with BLHS and (Sleepy Eye) St.Mary’s and it would be nice to finish out the first half of the Conference with wins. Our defense has come along ways but on offense there are times when we do not move the ball from side to side like we should.”
Woitas did say that David Berg, who suffered a leg injury in the win Friday will be out for a while.
EAGLES LOSE IN TWO OT: On Tuesday, the New Ulm Eagles held the lead for all but the final five seconds of their loss to Redwood Valley. On Friday night, New Ulm lost another heart-beaker when it fell to Blue Earth Area 79-77 in two overtimes.
“We were up from between seven to nine points in the second half,” New Ulm coach Steve Foley said. “They made some shots and free throws down the line. In the first OT we were up two points with 10 seconds to go and had the ball and we turned it over — we just flat out threw the ball to nobody with seven seconds left and they scored to tie it and send it ino the second OT.”
Reece Melby continued to score for New Ulm ending with 21 points.
“He has improved so much,” Foley said about the 6-foot 5 sophomore. “His shot is falling and [Friday] he had nine rebounds. He passes the ball really well for a sophomore and he takes care of the ball.”
The Eagles now hope to break a three-game losing streak on Tuesday when they host Worthington.
“We need to get better at the little things,” Foley said. “Whether it is free throw shooting or taking care of the ball or defending and rebounding. We have to make our free throws — we are only shooting 50 percent there in our last three games.”
BATT MOVES UP SCORING LIST: With 21 points Friday night against Blue Earth Area, New Ulm High School’s Joey Batt now has passed MVL’s Aaron Bauer (1995) total of 1,300 points. Batt, a junior, now has 1,317 career points and is ninth on the All-Time career scoring mark for New Ulm players, Batt now looks to pass Naci Melzer’s (MVL, 1994) career mark of 1440 .
CHARGERS REBOUND WITH WIN: “We did struggle a little bit but we played through it,” Chargers coach Craig Morgan said as MVL downed Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s 74-51. “The kids kept playing and our defense got better and we moved the ball around better than we have lately.”
Jake Kettner continued to play well for MVL has he scored 25 points and added 12 rebounds and 10 assists to his resume.
“Jake is doing a good job taking care of the ball and distributing it,” Morgan said. “Jakin Anderson came off of the bench and did a nice job — he played within himself, Matt Munsen played well but we had a problem with our post play — we get the ball inside and then we do not finish. We need to finish more consistently”
It was a win after a tough loss to New Ulm Cathedral four days earlier.
Morgan said that sometimes his team looks to Jake Kettner too much for scoring.
“But [Friday] we did not look to much for him — we looked inside and we got some good ball movement on the perimeter. Then it came back our for shots so it was a good mix.”