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Chargers roll to big win over Rabbits

NEW ULM — Minnesota Valley Lutheran’s points in transition on Tuesday night was more than enough to run away with a 78-46 win over Wabasso in Tomahawk Conference boys’ basketball action at Minnesota Valley Lutheran High School.

The Chargers (1-0, 1-0) had 17 steals and 25 points off of turnovers against the Rabbits (0-1, 0-1), led by Dunwa Omot’s six steals. Omot also added 9 points and four assists, while Jace Marotz had 13 points and eight rebounds and Mason Cox had 11 points and five rebounds.

MVL also got a 10-point, 11-rebound double-double from Kyreis Harrison, while Nick Bleick added 8 points and three steals off the bench.

Wabasso was led by Will Carlson and Isaac Kronback, who had 13 and 12 points, respectively. Kronback also had six rebounds, while Colby Wahl had six rebounds.

MVL finished shooting 45% from the floor, while the Rabbits shot 35%.

Both teams got off to slow starts offensively, but after a corner 3 by Wabasso’s Mason Dallenbach tied the game at 10-all, the Chargers put together an 8-0 run that was highlighted on a steal and two-handed slam by Omot with less than 10 minutes to play in the half. The Rabbits quickly cut the deficit back to 1, 18-17, after a deep jumper by Kronback, a bucket inside by Dallenbach and a 3 out of the corner by Kronback, but the Chargers began to create turnovers and get their shots to fall, taking a 38-23 lead into halftime after a 10-2 run.

“The first game’s going to be sloppy, and it was,” MVL head coach Craig Morgan said. “But we worked on our defense a lot, so now we’ve just got to tweak it, keep tweaking it and improving on it.”

The second half began with even more steals leading to points on the other end for MVL after Kyreis Harrison stole the ball on Wabasso’s first possession of the half and dished it to Izayah Harrison for an and-one and a 40-23 lead. After a Wabasso bucket inside by Matt Evink had the Rabbits down 46-27, MVL went on a 16-0 run to pull ahead 62-27.

Omot had two steals and three assists during that run. That big run also allowed Morgan to rest his starters for the majority of the second half, allowing 10 total bench players to see court time on Tuesday.

“They kept it up,” Morgan said of his bench in the second half. “They play against each other all the time in practice, so they’ve got to be doing better. And I expected them to break the press and play good defense and they did play good defense. And the press — they had their moments, but when they settled down they were fine.”

The Chargers led by as much as 36, 65-29, after a 3 by Elijah Schoof.

MVL hosts Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton at 1:15 p.m. on Saturday, while Wabasso is at Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s for a 7:30 p.m. conference game on Tuesday.

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