Boys Basketball: Red Wing shakes off poor start in big winIt took Red Wing 4 minutes, 25 seconds to wake up Monday night against Kasson-Mantorville.
By: Chris Harrell, The Republican Eagle
It took Red Wing 4 minutes, 25 seconds to wake up Monday night against Kasson-Mantorville.
The KoMets controlled the opening minutes, beating the Wingers to every loose ball and establishing a 10-2 lead. With 13:35 left in the first half, Red Wing head coach Doug Toivonen took a much-needed timeout. He didn’t tell the team anything new but the message came through clear.
“I told them we’d dug ourselves a hole,” Toivonen said. “It was time to dig deep. We just needed to pick it up and the kids knew that.”
“We just came out flat,” Red Wing senior Ryan Boldt added.
After the timeout, the Wingers went on a 24-2 run to close out of the first half leading 26-12 and they led K-M by as many as 30 points in the second half en route to a 63-41 victory at home.
“We made a small adjustment trying to take dribble penetration away,” Toivonen said. “We got some transition baskets and it took some pressure off. The kids kind of relaxed and we were able to flush the first five minutes because that wasn’t very good.”
“We just came out flat,” Red Wing senior Ryan Boldt said.
Boldt was the only player to score in double figures for either team Friday night, finishing with 11 points. Boldt did the majority of his damage during the first three minutes of the second half, scoring seven points as the Wingers extended their lead to 35-14.
Ty Buck and Jon Sevlie each finished with nine points for Red Wing (10-8) while Jack Leurquin had eight points and three assists. The Wingers had a 27-17 rebounding edge and garnered 13 steals in the victory.
Red Wing’s balanced scoring and unselfish play was a continuation of Friday’s win against Chaska. The Wingers had 13 assists and nine players score in Monday’s game.
“I think that really is feeding off what happened Friday,” Toivonen said. “Our shot selection has been really good. We’ve been playing inside out. … They know if they work hard and get open, someone’s going to find them.”
The KoMets struggled shooting the ball Monday, making just 13 of 32 shots. Chad Aaker scored eight points and had three rebounds to lead K-M (2-17).
During Red Wing’s run during the first half, the KoMets lone basket was scored on a layup by Aaker at the 6:05 mark, ending a 7:30 scoring drought. Only three players scored for K-M in the first half.
The Wingers started the second half on another streak, using a 12-2 run to go up 38-14 with 14:38 left in the game. The deficit continued to climb until Red Wing’s reserves entered the game with little less than two minutes remaining in regulation.
The Wingers’ last two games showed their potential to control games defensively and they hope the positive play continues as the regular season winds down.
“We’ve got to get some momentum going into March,” Boldt said. “Just try to play at the highest level we can going into the tournament.”
Red Wing plays again Friday on the road against Farmington, a team that defeated the Wingers 77-67 in overtime at home earlier in the season.
“The kids felt they left a little on the court that night,” Toivonen said. “It’s a big game Friday night.”