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Boys Basketball: Red Wing falls in 2nd-half lull

Red Wing's Isaac Toivonen (bottom right) goes in the post for a layup as a trio of Chanhassen defenders swarm during Tuesday's Missota Conference game in Red Wing. Toivonen finished with a game-high 16 points.1 / 3
Red Wing's Luke Bryant (right) locks on with Chanhassen's Michael Kurth during Tuesday's game in Red Wing.2 / 3
Red Wing's Ryan Boldt (right) drives the lane as Chanhassen's Collin Moldenhauer closes in on defense during Tuesday's game in Red Wing.3 / 3

After a back-and-forth first half, the Red Wing boys basketball team ran out of steam in the second half Tuesday against Chanhassen.

Throughout the second half, the Wingers missed open shots, and the Storm snatched 11 offensive rebounds to escape with a 58-53 Missota Conference victory.

"I thought we got beat to some loose balls and didn't do the little things nearly as well as we had in the first half," said Red Wing head coach Doug Toivonen. "It was disappointing. I don't know what the deal was, but it seemed like we didn't have the energy in the second half."

The Wingers' second-half struggles were in sharp contrast to the success the team found in the first half.

Red Wing (12-10, 4-7 Missota) held a 25-18 lead with 58 seconds remaining in the first half after Ben Miller converted a layup off an assist from Ryan Boldt. In the first half, the Wingers were able to work the ball inside the paint, with Isaac Toivonen racking up 12 points before halftime.

"There were a couple of times where they didn't switch on defense," said Isaac, who finished with 16 points on 6 of 12 shooting. "They were wide-open layups."

Doug added, "Isaac did a nice job of catching the ball in a spot where he could score in the first half. He hit a couple jump shots to get himself going."

Chanhassen would not go quietly into the locker room as Joey Witthus hit a pair of free throws, and then at the buzzer, Carson Heinz connected with a 3-pointer from the wing. Red Wing's lead was cut to 25-23 at halftime.

"The first half, I was happy with how we played," Doug said, "but we ended it on a sour note by giving up that three right before halftime to give them momentum."

With that lift heading into halftime, the Storm crashed the paint and forced the Wingers into outside shots. Red Wing finished the game 3 of 13 from 3-point range and 17 of 40 from the field.

"We weren't hitting our shots, so they kind of adjusted to that," Isaac said. "If you're not hitting your 3-pointers or your jump shots, they're not going to guard them as much."

Around the 12-minute mark, Chanhassen (12-10, 6-5 Missota) took the lead for good after Witthus drilled a 3-pointer to put the score in the Storm's favor, 36-35.

With the Wingers' shooting and rebounding woes, a balanced Chanhassen attack made it a two-possession contest for most of the second half. Heinz led the Storm with 12 points, while Witthus and Frank Ragnow added 11 and 10 points, respectively.

"We got some of those similar looks (from the first half) in the second half but we weren't able to convert," Doug said. "Defensively is where we kind of lost it by giving them too many second chances. ... It seemed like they got all the hustle points."

Over the final 9:17, only five of Red Wing's final 15 points came from the field: a layup by Miller and a desperation 3-pointer by Ty Buck.

"It's frustrating when we talk about what we need to do to win the game and we weren't able to execute that," Doug said.

Isaac had four assists and three steals to go with his 16-point output. Jon Sevlie and Miller came off the bench for the Wingers to score nine and eight points, respectively. Buck and Boldt each tallied eight points in the loss.

Red Wing is back on the road Thursday, taking on Shakopee, the second-place team in the Missota Conference.

Joe Brown

Joe Brown is the sports editor for the Red Wing Republican Eagle. Previously, he worked at the Marshall Independent and the St. Cloud Times. For updates on local sports, follow Joe on Twitter at @RE_JBrown.

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