Fairmont ekes by New Ulm

Staff photo by Steve Muscatello New Ulm’s Joshua Wenninger (4) drives to the basket during the second half against Fairmont Friday at New Ulm High School.

NEW ULM — Carter Bell’s 3-pointer with 11.8 seconds remaining gave Fairmont a 50-49 victory over New Ulm on Friday in a Big South Conference boys’ basketball matchup.

Joshua Wenninger hit the second of two free throws for a 49-47 Eagle advantage with 50.3 seconds left. Fairmont then brought the ball up the floor and Bell nailed his shot from the top of the key.

Osborne tried to hit a shot late, but he missed. Fairmont rebounded the ball with New Ulm also going for the basketball. It was called a jump ball, with the possession arrow pointing to Fairmont. New Ulm called a time out, but the Cardinals were able to inbound the ball for the win.

“(Carter) Bell knocked down a lifetime shot,” Eagles head coach Matt Dennis said. “It’ll be something that he will remember for the rest of his life.”

The Eagles chipped away at Fairmont’s lead, closing in with a Reece Melby 3-pointer, making it 33-31 Fairmont.

Sam Furth’s 3-pointer with 7:43 left in the second half gave New Ulm its first lead of the night at 38-36. Fairmont’s Wyatt Frank answered with an inside basket to tie it at 38-38. Melby scored, was fouled and he dropped in a free throw making it 41-39 New Ulm.

After Fairmont tied it, Charlie Osborne scored to regain New Ulm’s lead of 43-41. Frank tied it for the Cardinals with 4:22 left. Joey Flohrs scored and Jack Hested hit two free throws for a 47-43 Fairmont lead.

Melby hit an inside basket and a 3-pointer, regaining the Eagles’ advantage of 48-47.

The first half was a “good news/bad news” one for the Eagles. The good news was they didn’t allow themselves to get blown out. The bad news was the Eagles scored only 14 points in the first half. The Cardinals played tough defense, which kept New Ulm off-balance. Fairmont led 26-14 at halftime.

“It is a tough place to win,” Fairmont head coach Jared Thompson said. “They had the momentum, then we had the momentum. It was a dog fight.”

He noted that both teams had solid defense and both teams shot well.

Thompson observed that it was an exciting high school basketball game and that everyone got their money’s worth.

Frank led all scorers with 20 points and Hested added 14 points for Fairmont. Isaiah Miller and Melby each scored 18 points for New Ulm.

New Ulm (3-11, 1-5) will travel to Sibley East on Monday.