Section 2A North Boys Basketball Tournament
No. 6 Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity at No. 3 Mayer Lutheran
ABOUT THE TEAMS:
Lester/Prairie/Holy Trinity Bulldogs
5-6 Conference Record (MN Christian Athletic Association)
6-4 in last 10 games
Rees Schuette (Center, 6’8, Senior) – Schuette is a double-double machine and could give the Crusaders some matchup problems inside. With his ability to score in the paint, Schuette and Mayer Lutheran’s Garrett Tjernagel will be a fun matchup to watch in the paint.
Michael Ziermann (Guard, 6’1, Sophomore) – Ziermann can influence a game in many ways. His ability to knock down the 3-pointer, as well as being able to get to the basket, makes him a difficult player to defend. Ziermann also makes sure the Bulldogs are able to run their offensive sets, and get good shots.
Tyler Scheevel (Guard, 5’8, Sophomore) – Scheevel is a player that goes under the radar. As of late, he’s been shooting the ball well, and makes it tough on the other end of the floor for his opponents. Scheevel often starts defending their opponents best player.
Adam Heigl (Guard, 5’11, Senior) – Heigl is one of the most versatile players for the Bulldogs. He can play multiple positions. He can play outside and help run the offense, or he can play inside and battle with the big boys.
If the Bulldogs hope to pull of the upset, they’ll need a complete team performance. There’s no reason the Bulldogs can’t come out on top, as they’ve been playing well as of late. Winners of their last five games heading into the section tournament, the Bulldogs have been stellar on the defensive end. In their past five games, the Bulldogs have allowed just over 50 points per a game.
The Bulldogs have also been much more consistent on the offensive end as well. In their past five games, the Bulldogs averaged over 65 points a game. Schuette has been playing some of his best basketball of late, and shooters like Ziermann, Leighton Buhr, Trey Fiecke, and Heigl have been knocking down shots.
In order for the Bulldogs to come out on top, they’ll have to dig deep defensively and keep Mayer Lutheran’s Kobey Woolhouse in control. Should the Bulldogs defend well, there’s no reason the Bulldogs can’t pull of the upset.
Mayer Lutheran Crusaders
16-10 overall record
7-5 conference record (MN River Conference)
7-3 in last 10 games
Kobey Woolhouse (Guard, 6’0, Junior) – Woolhouse has the ability to take over a game at any minute. If he get’s hot, the Bulldogs could be in trouble. He’s able to knock down the three consistently, as well as get to the basket.
Cole Hagen (Guard, 5’11, Junior) – Hagen is one of the best 3-point shooters in the state. He’s struggled of late (0-for-6 against Upsala in the season finale), but can turn things around at any minute. Even when he’s not knocking down shots, Hagen is still a threat as he has a knack for finding open teammates for easy buckets.
Garrett Tjernagel (Center, 6’6, Junior) – Tjernagel led the way for the Crusaders with 19 points in their first meeting against the Bulldogs this season. Tjernagel will also be busy on the defensive end as he will battle it out with LP/HT’s Rees Schuette.
McHayl Diedrick (Center, 6’4 Senior) – Diedrick is another big body inside for the Crusaders. Along with Tjernagel, Diedrick will also be looked on to keep Schuette in check. Diedrick is also a solid rebounder and can score as well.
The Crusaders can score enough to beat anyone. There’s no doubt they have the talent to make a deep run in the Section 2A tournament, but whether or not that happens will come down to their defense. The Crusaders have been inconsistent on the defensive end all season long. If the Crusaders hope to stay alive and hold off the upset, they’re going to need to play well defensively.
Hagen and Woolhouse have the talent to go off and make this a lopsided game, but the Bulldogs are also good enough on defense to keep them in check. If Woolhouse and Hagen struggle, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Bulldogs pulling off the upset.
It wasn’t easy, but the Mayer Lutheran boys basketball team held on down the stretch for a 63-49 win over the Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity Bulldogs in the first round of the Maple Lake tournament Dec. 15.
The Crusader got out to a good start thanks to junior center Garrett Tjernagel, taking an early 18-6 lead in the first half. Tjernagel had nine of the first 18 points for the Crusaders, as the Bulldogs struggled with his size inside.
The Crusaders took a 34-20 lead into the locker room after Adam Heigl knocked down two big 3-pointers down the stretch to keep the Bulldogs in the game.
The Bulldogs came out strong in the second half, especially Blair Jilek. Jilek scored the first six points of the half for the Bulldogs as he was aggressive in getting to the basket, while cutting the Crusaders’ lead down to eight points.
Both teams traded buckets throughout the first half, but with just over six minutes to go, sophomore guard Michael Ziermann caught fire.
Ziermann knocked down three second-half 3-pointers, including back-to-back 3-pointers to get the Bulldogs within seven points with 6:30 left to play.
That’s as close as the Bulldogs would get, as Cole Hagen answered the Ziermann 3-pointer with one of his own to extend the lead back up to 10, as the Crusaders held on for the win.
Tjernagel finished with 19 points and eight rebounds to lead the way for the Crusaders, while Kobey Woolhouse continued to stay hot by adding 13 points. Hagen finished with 11 points, including shooting 3-for-6 from three-point range in the win.
For the Bulldogs, they gave it all they got as they got quality minutes up and down the lineup. Jilek, Heigl and Todd Johnson all scored 10 points, while Ziermann added nine himself.
For in-game updates and analysis throughout the game, follow Kip Kovar on Twitter.