Boys Basketball: Wingers share in the gloryA balanced attack sparked Red Wing to season-opening win against Faribault.
By: Chris Harrell, The Republican Eagle
The new season brings a new look for Red Wing.
The Wingers found offense difficult to come by a year ago, especially in the season opener. Red Wing won in 2011, but it wasn’t a pretty game.
Flash forward to 2012 and the Wingers were dominant in all but one facet Friday night against Faribault in securing a 71-42 blowout victory during the Red Wing High School Tip-Off Tournament.
The Wingers never trailed in the win.
“The biggest thing is we just have so many more options offensively,” Red Wing head coach Doug Toivonen said. “Last year, we relied so heavily on Joel Newman.”
The Wingers shot better than 57 percent from the field in Friday’s win despite making just 3 of 19 3-point attempts.
Red Wing sophomore Ty Buck finished with a game-high 19 points for the Wingers, making 6 of 9 shots inside the 3-point line. He also finished with seven rebounds and Faribault had no answer for Buck’s physicality in the paint.
“Coach has talked about that a lot with us,” Buck said of going hard to the basket. “The mentality is to get to the basket. He tells us to get to rim.”
“Ty did a really good job of going inside tonight instead of settling for the three,” Toivonen added.
Senior Jack Leurquin also found success down low for Red Wing, tallying 14 points and six rebounds.
“He did a great job of just being wide in there,” Toivonen said, “and he had his hands ready. … If he can do that and that’s his role, that’s all we’d ask out of him.”
The Wingers also got solid contributions from junior Jon Sevlie and sophomore Ben Miller, whom finished with 11 points and 10 points, respectively. Miller also grabbed six rebounds, while senior Ryan Boldt had four points, three rebounds, three assists and five steals in the win.
Nate Emge scored 18 points to lead the Falcons, including four 3-pointers.
Faribault had trouble scoring to start the game, turning the ball over on its first three possessions as Red Wing took an 11-0 lead and held the Falcons scoreless for the first five minutes of the game.
“We’re trying to be a little more aggressive defensively,” Toivonen said. “That got us started out with a good level of intensity.”
The Wingers took a 39-17 lead into halftime Leurquin providing 11 points.
Faribault had a 6-0 run early in the second half to cut the lead to less than 20 points, but a 3-point play by Leurquin at 15 minutes, 19 seconds started an 8-0 run for Red Wing.
The Falcons were never closer than 21 points the rest of the way.
A big reason for the Wingers’ success on offense came from their ball movement, finding baseline cutters for wide open layups after the swing pass.
“That’s what we’ve been practicing,” Buck said. “That seems to be working and we were swinging the ball well tonight.”
Today, Red Wing will face River Falls, which defeated Byron 61-49 Friday, in the title game of the tournament. The game begins at 2 p.m.
“It looked good tonight,” Toivonen said. “That was a good start for us.”