Boys Basketball: Wingers throttle Park of Cottage GrovePark of Cottage Grove struggled to do anything offensively Tuesday night against Red Wing.
By: Chris Harrell, The Republican Eagle
Park of Cottage Grove struggled to do anything offensively Tuesday night against Red Wing.
The Wingers’ defense was stifling and the Wolfpack obliged to the pressure with errant passes and clumsy ball-handling.
The resulting outcome was a 77-44 victory for Red Wing at home.
“I thought we really turned it up (on defense),” Red Wing head coach Doug Toivonen said. “I thought everyone did a good job of getting into passing lanes.”
Park committed 21 turnovers in the loss and was outworked by the Wingers for much of the game. Red Wing (3-2) had 12 offensive rebounds and 17 steals in the win.
Sophomore Ty Buck led the Wingers with 25 points and also contributed five rebounds and two steals. He shot well from outside but did much of his damage from inside the paint, including getting to the free-throw line where Red Wing shot 21 of 29.
“He’s such a tough match-up for people,” Toivonen said. “They really didn’t have anybody that could stick with him. … He really let the game come to him and didn’t force it. It was a really good all-around offensive effort by him.”
Junior Jon Sevlie had nine points, seven rebounds, three assists and five steals, while senior Ryan Boldt finished with 13 points, four rebounds, four assists and three steals for Red Wing as a catalyst for the team’s pressure defense.
“That’s one thing we’ve been emphasizing is trying to get offense from our defense,” Boldt said. “That’s one thing I do well is put pressure on the ball and make it hard to make decisions. Our team defense has done really well so far.”
The Wingers have given up an average of 50 points per game through the season’s first five games. Anthony Juba led Park with 11 points.
The Wolfpack were overmatched from the start as Red Wing built a 16-0 lead by the 12-minute mark of the first half. Park’s first basket came at 11 minutes, 37 seconds on a layup by Kyler Heard. The Wingers continued to add to the lead, going up 26-4 at 8:40 of the first half on a basket by senior Jack Leurquin. Leurquin finished with 10 points and five rebounds.
“I liked what Jack did on the weak-side boards,” Toivonen said.
Red Wing played uninspired for a couple minutes in the middle of the first half, allowing the Wolfpack to cut the lead to 27-13 at 5:01, but controlled the rest of the half. The Wingers led 43-22 at halftime after a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Ryan Klika.
Buck scored 10 points in the first nine minutes of the second half as Red Wing pushed the lead to 59-32 with 9:43 remaining in the game. Park never got closer as the final six minutes were running time.
“I really liked what we did in the second half,” Toivonen said.
The Wingers shot 25 of 54 from the field and 27 rebounds. Toivonen said he liked the energy that Red Wing showed against a less talented team.
“We wanted to make sure they didn’t come in and outhustle us,” Toivonen said. “I thought we took care of that.”
The Wingers will attempt to win their third game in a row Thursday at Winona.