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Omot leads Chargers past GFW

Staff photo by Travis Rosenau Minnesota Valley Lutheran’s Mason Cox attacks the bucket as Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop’s Ethan Schwarzrock (32) and Damian Hopp (10) defend in Tuesday night’s Tomahawk Conference boys’ basketball game at MVL High School in New Ulm.

NEW ULM — It might have only been the fourth game of the season for the Minnesota Valley Lutheran boys’ basketball team, but the Chargers were rolling on all cylinders against Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop on Tuesday night.

Led By Dunwa Omot’s 26 points, the Chargers downed the Thunderbirds 70-37 in Tomahawk Conference action at MVL High School.

Omot also added five blocks, four steals and three rebounds, while Mason Cox had 9 points and eight rebounds. Jace Marotz added 9 points, nine assists and six rebounds for MVL (4-0, 3-0), while Kyreis Harrison added 8 points.

GFW (1-2, 0-2) was led by Ryan Lavrenz, who had 9 points, all on 3-pointers, and seven rebounds. Also for GFW, Johnnie Ambrose added 8 points and four boards, while Tylor Hopp had 7 points.

While it’s still early in the season, the Chargers had their best start to a game yet this season on Tuesday, jumping out to a 19-0 lead before Ambrose stopped the run on a basket with less than 12 minutes to play in the opening half. Omot had 12 of the first 19 points for MVL, draining a trio of 3s and adding a layup during the run.

“It was our third game in a row [without practice],” Omot said. “We got some rest over the weekend, but coaches told us to come out with energy right away and just put on a lead right away, push the gas and play this game like every other game and just extend our lead right away. The most important thing was the start.”

The Chargers continued to push the pace and score in the first half and led 43-20 at halftime.

Minutes into the second half, MVL went on a 9-0 run to lead 60-24, getting a pair of layups from Omot, a layup apiece by Izayah Harrison and Kyreis Harrison and a free throw by Cox. A bucket by Evan Elder stopped the MVL run and a quick 3 by Hopp cut the Thunderbirds’ deficit to 60-29.

GFW cut its deficit to 64-35 late after a free throw by Elder, but that was as close as the Thunderbirds got from there out. MVL’s largest lead was 36.

The Chargers shot 50% from the floor, while the Thunderbirds shot 26%.

Omot said that he’s happy with the early success MVL has had and that it’s important to win and improve early on in the season before the holidays.

“The early games before Christmas are really important just to see what that second half has in store because of all the different days we miss and stuff,” Omot said. “These early games get you ready for later on and postseason runs. So it’s really good to get the win.”

The Chargers will next have a short trip to Martin Luther College as they begin play in the MLC Tip-Off Tournament at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday against West Lutheran.

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