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Boys Basketball: Wingers stuff Tigers

Red Wing’s Isaac Toivonen (31) deflects a shot by Farmington’s Zach Speikers during the second half of Friday’s Missota Conference game at Red Wing. Toivonen finished the night with 22 points and was 6 of 7 from 3-point range in the Wingers’ 72-71 victory. (Republican Eagle photos by Kyle Stevens)1 / 2
The Wingers’ Jon Sevlie goes up for a runner in the first half Friday. (Republican Eagle photos by Kyle Stevens)2 / 2

The end of the game will be what it remembered, with Farmington misfiring on a couple of desperation attempts after Red Wing missed a key free throw. But the beginning of the second half was where the Wingers were able to forge a lead that would hold up through the final buzzer to beat the Missota Conference rival Tigers, 72-71.

“I thought the first half we played pretty well, especially the last five or six minutes,” said Red Wing head coach Doug Toivonen. “In the second half … we were ahead by eight, 10, and we knew they were going to make a run.”

Farmington never really made a run, but it did chip away at what was a 12-point Red Wing lead with 6 minutes, 1 second left in the game. With the Tigers getting back into the contest, Toivonen may have started to have flashbacks to the two team’s first game in Farmington when the Tigers roared back from a 20-point, second-half deficit to win by three.

It would not go that way this time.

“They took a lead with (1:31) to play, and we came down and showed some patience and got a wide-open layup to take the lead,” Toivonen said. “I mean, how many times does that happen?”

Travis Toivonen was the Winger to hit the open shot with 1:06 on the clock. That gave the Tigers plenty of time to find a way to take the lead, but the Red Wing defense swarmed Nick Varner’s fade-away jumper. But, moments later, a controversial travelling call gave the ball back to Farmington.

On the ensuing possession, the Tigers missed a 3-pointer, giving the Wingers a chance to extend the tenuous one-point advantage. That would not happen as Farmington grabbed the rebound and called two timeouts to set up a sideline play that ended with Zach Speikers taking a half-court shot at the buzzer.

After the ball bounced off the glass, far left of the rim, the Wingers celebrated the hard-fought victory.

Isaac Toivonen, who hit four second-half 3-pointers on his way to a team-high 22 points, let out a yell while high-fiving anyone within reach. Doug Toivonen pretty much did the same.

“We battled enough at the end, and forced them to take a contested shot,” Doug Toivonen said of Varner’s attempt. “If they hit that shot, hats off to them. But our kids did a good job of battling to get that win.”

Jon Sevlie, who missed parts of the game due to illness, scored 12 points while Ty Buck added 11 points, four of which came on a momentum-changing four-point play in the first half. Isaac Toivonen added six rebounds to his point production while Ben Miller totaled four assists and five boards.

The Wingers (14-7 overall, 4-6 Missota) will host Stewartville today in a non-conference game before beginning the final stretch of the season Tuesday with a trip to Richfield to take on Holy Angels in conference play.

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, and follow him on Twitter @RE_KStevens.
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