The Minnewaska Area boys basketball team dropped a pair of non-conference games last week, losing at Barnesville last Tuesday night, 63-51, and at home to Litchfield, Thursday, 58-50.

The Lakers had their chances against the Dragons as Minnewaska led 50-49 with about 2:34 left in the game before Litchfield went on to score the final nine points.

Minnewaska, which dropped to 1-14 overall, was also set to play at BOLD, Saturday, but results of that contest will be highlighted next week.

Also on tap this week are games at home against Montevideo, Tuesday (tomorrow) followed by road games at NLS, Thursday and at Sauk Centre, Friday, Feb. 2.

Barnesville 63, Waska 51

The Lakers dropped a 63-51 decision at Barnesville last Tuesday night after trailing at halftime, 31-22.  According to coach Zach Traphagen, the Lakers had one dry spell in the first half which they were eventually unable to overcome.

“We had a stretch of about 5-6 minutes in the first half where we couldn’t make a shot,” coach Traphagen said.  “That allowed Barnesville to take a 28-13 lead. We closed the half on a 9-3 run and kept it at single digits for awhile in the 2nd half, but we just couldn’t quite climb out of the hole we dug in the first half.”

Minnewaska, which dropped to 1-13 overall, did play fairly even with Barnesville in the second half as they were outscored by a slim 32-29 margin.

Marc Gruber had a season-high 21 points along with two assists, four rebounds and three steals, to lead the Lakers, while Alex Panitzke had a good all-around game with 10 points, five assists, five boards and five steals.

The Lakers shot 40 percent from the field (21-for-52), including 6-of-23 from 3-point range.  In addition, Minnewaska was 3-of-8 from the line.

Minnewaska, which had just 21 rebounds on the night, also got nine points, two blocked shots and four rebounds from Tenzin Dahl, five points from Connor Frey, four points and two assists from Owen Meulebroeck, and two points from Dylan Alexander. 

Despite the loss, coach Traphagen was happy with the effort from his team.  “The guys competed their tails off and we definitely got better tonight,” Traphagen said.

Litchfield 58, Waska 50

The Lakers were outscored 9-1 late in the game as Litchfield rallied for a 58-50 non-conference win, Thursday night.

Minnewaska Area trailed at halftime, 29-25 and also trailed early in the second half, 34-30, after a 3-pointer by Marc Gruber with 15:52 left in the game.

Connor Frey got hot with 10 points over a 10-minute span of the second half, helping the Lakers take a lead of 39-36, but Litchfield went on an 11-4 run of its own to take a 47-43 lead a few minutes later.

Three-pointers by Jack Majerus and Connor Frey lifted the Lakers to a 49-49 tie with 4:59 left in the game, but the Lakers would add just one more point the rest of the way while Litchfield added nine more points to earn the 58-50 win.

“It was a tough loss tonight,” coach Zach Traphagen said.  “We had every opportunity to win the game, but couldn’t make the timely shots or get the necessary stops in the last three minutes of the game. We didn’t necessarily play our best basketball tonight; just have to learn from it and move on to the next opportunity.”

Alex Panitzke had 12 points, two assists, six rebounds and two steals to lead the Laker offense, while Gruber added 11 points and two boards and Frey scored 10 points while adding three assists, five rebounds and five steals.

The Lakers shot 30 percent from the field (19-for-62), but were only 6-of-29 from long range and 6-of-14 from the line.  Late in the game, the Lakers missed three-straight free-throws and an easy shot inside that would have given them some breathing room.

Also scoring for the Lakers were Owen Meulebroeck with six points, Jack Majerus with four, Dylan Alexander with three points, four assists, 11 rebounds and three steals, and Ryland Martin and Levi Johnson with two points each.

Tenzin Dahl, one of the Lakers’ leading scorers, was kept scoreless by the Dragons’ strong interior defense.  Jack Dietel had 22 points and 11 boards to lead Litchfield.

at Barnes 63, Waska 51

Waska (1-13) 22 29 — 51

Barnesville 31 32 — 63

WASKA stats:  21-52 FG (6-23 3pt); 3-8 FT; 13 assists; 3 blocks; 21 rebounds; 13 steals; 12 fouls; 13 turnovers . . . Scoring:  Marc Gruber 21, Alex Panitzke 10, Tenzin Dahl 9, Connor Frey 5, Owen Meulebroeck 4, Dylan Alexander 2 . . . Rebounding:  Panitzke 5, Dahl 4, Gruber 4, Frey 2, Ryland Martin 2, Zach Palmer 2  . . . Assists:  Panitzke 5, Meulebroeck 2, Gruber 2 . . . Steals:  Panitzke 5, Gruber 3 . . . Blocks:  Dahl 2

BARNES stats:   Stats not available


Litchfield 58, at Waska 50

Litchfield 29 29 — 58

Waska (1-14) 25 25 — 50

WASKA stats:  19-62 FG (6-29 3pt); 6-14 FT; 12 assists; 30 rebounds; 13 steals; 18 fouls; 15 turnovers . . . Scoring:   Alex Panitzke 12, Marc Gruber 11, Connor Frey 10, Owen Meulebroeck 6, Jack Majerus 4, Dylan Alexander 3, Ryland Martin 2, Levi Johnson 2 . . . Rebounding:  Alexander 11, Panitzke 6, Frey 5, Tenzin Dahl 4, Gruber 2 . . . Assists:  Alexander 4, Frey 3, Panitzke 2 . . . Steals:  Frey 5, Alexander 3, Panitzke 2

LITCH stats:   Scoring:   Jake Dietel 22, Jack McCann 12, Creighton Huhner 7 . . . Rebounding:  Dietel 11, Huhner 9, McCann 8 . . . Other stats not available

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