JCC tops New Ulm after hot start

Benson surpasses Holzhueter on career points list

Staff photo by Ari Selvey New Ulm’s Colton Benson shoots a 3-pointer during a Big South Conference boys basketball game against Jackson County Central Thursday at New Ulm High School.

NEW ULM — If you take out the first five minutes of their Big South Conference game against Jackson County Central Thursday night, the New Ulm Eagles would have come away with a 79-71 win over the Huskies.

But the first five minutes of the game did the Eagles in.

JCC jumped to a 17-0 lead and used that to down New Ulm 88-79 in conference play.

Weston Rowe led the Huskies (16-7, 11-5) with 20 points.

James Osborne paced New Ulm 17-7, 10-3) with 24 points. Colton Benson added 17, with Nate Firle ending with 15 and Ayden Jensen tossing in 14.

Submitted photo Galen Holzhueter (left) stands with New Ulm’s Colton Benson (right) after Benson broke Holtzhueter’s scoring record against Jackson County Central Thursday at New Ulm High School.

Benson’s 17 points make him the City of New Ulm’s All-Time leading scorer in boys basketball with 2,065 career points, breaking Minnesota Valley Lutheran’s Galen Holzhueter’s mark of 2,053.

“We dug ourselves a ditch,” New Ulm head coach Matt Dennis said. “It is that time of the year where things happen. We saw it across our section [Tuesday]. It is that time of the year where teams come out with nothing to lose — they throw it all out on the line.”

JCC turned five turnovers into 9 of those 17 points before an Osborne 3 got the Eagles on the board at 17-3.

The Huskies increased that margin to 25-6 before two baskets from Firle and a hoop from Zach Hubbard made it 23-12.

Jensen then sparked an 11-0 run that closed the Eagles to within 27-23.

A conventional 3-point play from Jensen tied the game at 31-31 before an Osborne 3 gave New Ulm a 36-34 lead with just under two minutes to go in the first half.

“I was proud of the way that our kids came back,” Dennis said. “They held themselves — they did not give up. But it took a heck of a lot of energy to do that.”

New Ulm trailed 39-36 at half but came back, eventually tying the game at 74 on a Hubbard basket with 4:30 left in the game.

But the Huskies closed out the final four-plus minutes on a 14-5 run for the win.

New Ulm now plays Waseca on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. in Redwood Falls.

If New Ulm wins that game they would host either Redwood Valley or Worthington Monday night a 7 p.m for the Big South Conference title.


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