Sophomore Zach Brandts scored 26 points Tuesday night, but it was not enough to overcome a more balanced attack by Martin County West, and the Saints lost their third game in five days by a final score of 73 to 65.
The game started out well for the Saints and they opened up a 12-4 lead with 12:30 in the first half.
A smooth drive and scoop shot by Brandts turned into a three point play when he was fouled after scoring and he converted the free throw. That gave the Saints 20 points with seven minutes to go in the half. However, by that time MCW was working their way back in the game, and only trailed the Saints by three.
MCW earned their first tie of the game at 20 all with 5:30 to go, and picked up their first lead 23-22 with 4:13 to go in the half.
The Saints Joe Nelson came right back and swished in a three pointer to put the Saints back on top 25-23 with a little under 4 minutes to go in the half. Nelson hit 4 of 8 three point shots on the night. He was the only other Saint in double figures with 12.
The game remained tight the rest of the half, and the Saints trailed by 32-31 at the break.
MCW opened up a small lead early in the second half, and the Saints did their best to close the gap. At one stretch the Saints came down and hit three treys in a row. However, on each score MCW came back and hit a three.
Some cold shooting by the Saints and consistent scoring by MCW opened the lead up to as much as 63 to 45 with 4:50 to go.
The Saints were in foul trouble early in the game, and now were forced to press and foul. MCW was able to convert many of their foul shots, but their free throw shooting started to falter late in the game, and the Saints made a run.
Sophomore Ryan Menssen hit a three to make it 66-56 with a little under three and a half to go in the game.
MCW had enough left to hold off the Saints run, and ended with an eight point victory margin.
Austin Krumwiede had 20 points for the visiting MCW Mavericks.
Saints lose a tough one to Luverne 62-60
The Saints played a great game against a good 12-5 Luverne team on Saturday night, but couldn’t come away with the win falling in the final seconds of the game by a final score of 62-60. Poor shooting had plagued the Saints in the two previous games, but that was not the case Saturday. The team made 7 of 13 from beyond the arc for a 54% three point shooting percentage.
For the game the Saints shot 48% from the floor. Zach Brandts led the team with 22 points, Colby Rogers added 13, and Walker Froehling tossed in 11. Froehling also led the team with nine rebounds.
The Saints were up at the half 32 to 29 and led by 9 points with 7 minutes to go. Teams are usually forced to foul when trailing that much, but Luverne committed only one foul in the game and the Saints got only one point from the free throw line.
The Saints were tied with just under a minute to play.
Coach Steve Walker said, “We did a great job of holding the ball for a last shot. We had an great look from three point range, took the shot, but it went in and out.”
“Sam Carlson had a big offensive rebound and took a follow up shot that went in and out.”
The ball went out of bounds to Luverne. “They ran a good out of bounds play. We fouled them instead of giving up a lay-up. They made two free throws with 3 seconds left,” Walker said.
The Saints took a long three point shot at the buzzer, but it didn’t go in.
Walker said, “We played very well, and we played hard on both ends of the floor against a good team.”
Unfortunately for the Saints it ended up as a tough loss instead of a hard fought win.
New Ulm beats Saints 62-40
The Saints traveled to New Ulm last Friday night and lost a conference game to the Eagles 62-40.
Like the game against Pipestone where the team missed 19 three point shots in a row, the Saints had a bad shooting night from beyond the arch hitting only 2 of 15 shots. For the game the Saints shot 27% from the floor.
Zach Brandts led the team with 13 points. He was the only Saint in double figures.
Coach Steve Walker said the team played well on the defensive end, but the team struggled shooting the ball.
“We were forced to rush some things on offense in the second half that allowed them to have a few runs,” Walker said.
The boys basketball team hosts Fairmont on Friday night, and Jackson CC visits St. James on Saturday night.