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Boys Basketball: Northfield pulls away from Red Wing

Red Wing's Nathan Carlson launches a 3-pointer over Northfield's Seth Thompson during the first half of Friday's Big Nine Conference game at Sonju Gymnasium. Johnson had a team-high 24 points in the Wingers' 72-50 loss. Joe Brown / RiverTown Multimedia1 / 2
Red Wing's Carson Nystuen puts up a 3-point attempt during the first half of Friday's Big Nine Conference game against Northfield at Sonju Gymnasium. Joe Brown / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 2

The rivalry between Red Wing and Northfield renewed on Friday, and less than a minute into the second half, the Wingers and Raiders were set for a fantastic finish. But Nathan Carlson picked up his fourth foul moments later, and Northfield used the absence of the Red Wing center to go on a 29-5 run en route to a 72-50 victory.

"Nathan played really well. Northfield is a physical team, and we expected that. We didn't have our normal depth in the post with (Marcus) Walm out," said Winger head coach Drew Olinger. "Nathan had to play a lot of minutes early, and we just said we'll keep him in as long as we can because he was getting the shots he wanted and defensively he was contesting shots.

"It just came down to we had three guys that played a lot of minutes and we didn't get the production we needed."

The Raiders were ready to run away from the start, taking a 24-7 lead with 9 minutes, 25 seconds on the first-half clock. But Red Wing rode 19 points from Carlson to get back within five at halftime, 39-34.

"We thought the only way we'd be in a game like that is to shoot when you're open," Olinger said. "It was kind of, and it's not the perfect way to put it, but shoot before you turn it over, because Northfield is the kind of team that will do that to you. We did, we just had some guys that didn't make what we needed to."

After Carlson hit one of two foul shots on a technical coming out for the second half, DonTray Johnson tied the game with a 3-pointer at 17:15.

But then Mason Zick took over for the Raiders, scoring 14 points in Northfield's big run. That surge from the visitors was almost to be expected as the first half took its toll on the Wingers. While the Raiders freely subbed in four or five players at a time, Red Wing had no such luxury.

"Due to injuries and other setbacks, we're about seven deep. It did come and get us," Olinger said. "I think they guys that played a lot of minutes are competitors and will come back better for it."

Carlson finished with 24 points, four rebounds and a pair of blocks, and Johnson added 13 points, five boards and three steals. With two more games coming before Rochester John Marshall comes to town, the Wingers (4-10) will need to get healthy and back into an offensive flow.

"These next two games are huge for us with Winona (on Tuesday) and Century (on Friday), two winnable opportunities for us," Olinger said. "We can't have a night off, we can't have five minutes off. We need to play with the energy we did in that 10-minute stretch in the first half that allowed us to claw back."

Tuesday

Rochester Mayo 59, Red Wing 50

Trailing 33-24 at halftime, Rochester Mayo was able to put together a comeback in the second half against Red Wing Tuesday night, outscoring the Wingers 35-17 in the final 18 minutes for a 59-50 Big Nine Conference victory.

Red Wing took the lost despite a strong night from DonTray Johnson, who hit five 3-pointers on the way to a team-best 19 points. He also finished with eight rebounds and a pair of assists.

Nathan Carlson came up with 10 points and seven rebounds, and Zach Cota chipped in nine points, four rebounds and a pair of steals.

Kyle Stevens

Kyle Stevens is a sports reporter for the Red Wing Republican Eagle. Previously, Kyle worked at the Owatonna People’s Press, as well as KWLM and KLFN in Willmar. You can contact Kyle by phone at (651) 301-7879, via e-mail at kstevens@republican-eagle.com, and follow him on Twitter @RE_KStevens.

(651) 301-7879
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