Boys Basketball: Holy Angels controls final minutes to defeat Red WingRed Wing’s final eight possessions were its downfall Tuesday at home against Holy Angels.
By: Chris Harrell, The Republican Eagle
Red Wing’s final eight possessions were its downfall Tuesday at home against Holy Angels.
The Wingers were up 60-58 with 4 minutes, 32 minutes remaining in the game, but were unable to score in its final eight possessions while turning the ball over multiple times in a 68-60 loss to the third-ranked (3A) Stars.
“We got to have more guys step up,” Red Wing head coach Doug Toivonen said. “You got to get some stops. They’re playing without one of their best players. I just thought we played OK tonight. I felt like if we played well tonight we would win.”
Holy Angels (15-6, 7-2 Missota) was without Division I recruit Delshon Strickland but managed with a bruising performance by Charlie Koontz, who finished with 27 points and 13 rebounds. Koontz went 12 of 16 from the free-throw line while scoring 19 points in the seconds half.
“We tried to rotate some different guys on him,” Toivonen said. “I was disappointed because the shots we gave him were way too easy.”
Ryan Boldt paced the Wingers (11-9, 3-6 Missota) with nine points in the second half and a team-high 16 points. Jon Sevlie added 12 points and three assists while Ben Miller contributed 14 points, seven rebounds and two assists. Ty Buck, Isaac Toivonen and Jack Leurquin finished a combined 4 of 27 from the field as Red Wing shot 24 of 62 from the field and committed 13 turnovers against the Stars.
Miller kept Red Wing in the game during the first half, scoring 12 points before halftime. Holy Angels took a 5-0 lead to start the game and held a lead until the 3:21 mark of the first half. Miller scored eight of the Wingers’ first 13 points.
“He did a good job of finding the opening in the zone,” Doug Toivonen said. “When he got the ball, he knew what to do with it.”
“Someone had to step up and help the team out,” Miller added.
Miller helped give Red Wing its first lead at 3:21 of the first half, and Boldt followed with a 3-pointer to go up 25-20. A dunk by Koontz and a 3-pointer by Danny Sullivan, who finished with 14 points, cut the Wingers’ lead to 27-25 with 1:14 left. The Stars’ Adam Hoffman tied the game at 27-27 with 55 seconds on the clock and it remained there into the break.
The second half saw seven ties and 13 lead changes before Holy Angels grabbed the lead for good at 62-60 with 3:29 remaining in regulation.
Both teams were active on the offensive glass Tuesday but the Stars took advantage of their chances. Koontz had multiple put-backs and Holy Angels finished with eight offensive rebounds while Red Wing grabbed 12 offensive rebounds.
“They’re a very athletic team and they were quick,” Miller said. “We had to just box out and we didn’t do a very good job of that tonight.”
At times, the Stars also took advantage of the Wingers not getting their heads turned around in transition. Holy Angels’ ability to get up the court quickly, especially Jordan Dembley, got Red Wing into foul trouble and led to important baskets in the final minutes. The Stars went 18 of 23 from the free-throw line.
“I was disappointed it happened as many times as it did, especially in crucial moments,” Doug Toivonen said of losing sight of the ball in transition.
Red Wing is 1-6 in its last seven games decided by 12 points or less, with its only win coming last Friday against Farmington. The Wingers are 4-9 in those games for the season.
“It’s a little frustrating, we always play until the end and the outcome doesn’t go our way,” Miller said.
“You got to keep putting yourself in the situation,” Doug Toivonen added. “There’s not just one thing you can do (to fix it).”
The Wingers will face Northfield Saturday on the road.