The Minnewaska Area boys basketball team earned its second victory of the season, winning at Benson last Tuesday night, 67-58.  It was the second win against the Braves this season.

The Lakers also hosted Morris Area-CA, Thursday, losing 68-47 to a strong Tiger team. The Lakers are now 2-19 overall and 2-10 in the conference with only five regular-season games to go.

This week, Minnewaska Area was set to host KMS, Monday (today) before getting ready to play at West Central Area, Friday.  The Section 3AA Tourney is set to begin Saturday, March 2.

Waska 67, Benson 58

The Lakers earned their second win of the season during a 67-58 victory at Benson last Tuesday night.  Minnewaska Area also beat the Braves on the home floor Jan. 18, 67-49.

Alex Panitzke, Marc Gruber and Connor Frey were the main offensive weapons for the Lakers, combining for 55 points and hitting 12-of-29 three-pointers and 11-of-13 from the line.

“It was a great team win for us tonight where we started slow, came out fast in the second half, battled off a late rally by Benson and made timely shots and free throws to seal it at the end,” coach Zach Traphagen said.  “The boys grew a lot tonight as a team and never flinched when Benson cut the game to three points in the final two minutes.”

Panitzke led the way for the Lakers with 26 points, five assists, two blocked shots and five rebounds.  He was 5-of-10 on 3-pointers and 9-of-10 from the line.

Gruber was next with 17 points, connecting on 5-of-11 three-pointers while also adding three steals, while Connor Frey had 12 points, going 4-of-10 from the field.

Overall, the Lakers shot 36 percent from the field (22-of-60), but were 12-of-32 on three-pointers and 11-of-13 from the line.  The 12 made 3-pointers ties a school record for the Lakers’ boys basketball program.

“Alex had it going early and put the finishing touches on his big time effort by knocking down a huge 3-pointer and going 4-4 from the line in the final minutes,” coach Traphagen said.  “We had multiple guys step up and make big time plays in crucial moments.  I’m just so happy for the team, especially these seniors. 

“We have another great challenge on Thursday when Morris comes to town.  We were very disappointed with our last showing at home, so we’ll be looking to build on this win with an inspired effort on Thursday.”

Tenzin Dahl added six points, three rebounds and two steals for the Lakers, while Levi Johnson had four points and two assists, Owen Meulebroeck had two points and five boards, and Dylan Alexander had a good game with six rebounds, two steals and a game-high 10 assists.

•  As a sidenote, Dylan Alexander’s 10 assists places him third on the all-time school-record list for most assists in one game.  In addition, Alex Panitzke tied for seventh all-time for highest free-throw percentage in one game when attempting 10 or more free-throws.  Panitzke went 9-of-10 from the line for 90 percent.  He also joined an elite fraternity of players who have scored 25 or more points in a game.

Morris 68, Waska 47

Morris Area handed the Lakers a 68-47 setback, Thursday, despite Minnewaska Area playing one of its best halves of the season in the first half.

The Lakers stayed with the Tigers for most of the first half before a late run pushed the Morris Area lead to 37-26 at halftime.  The Tigers would go on to outscore the Lakers 31-21 in the second half to win by 21.

“The guys battled hard tonight,” coach Traphagen said.  “We missed a lot of very makable shots in the second half that would’ve made it a totally different game.”

Owen Meulebroeck scored 11 points and added four rebounds for the Lakers, going 5-of-5 from the field and 1-of-2 from the line.  He had most of his points in the first half.

Connor Frey added eight points and three boards, while Marc Gruber had seven points and two assists and Alex Panitzke also had seven points along with two assists and three rebounds.

The Lakers shot 32 percent from the field (16-for-49), including 3-of-16 from three-point range.

Morris Area struggled with its shooting at first, but found its range late in the second half.  The Tigers were led in scoring by ninth-grader Alex Asmus.  Three of the Tigers’ best players are a freshman and two sophomores.

“Missing some shots was frustrating, but there was no quit from our guys,” coach Traphagen said.  “We’re getting closer and getting better, but we still need to be able to consistently make shots.”

Also scoring for the Lakers were Luke Danielson with five points, Levi Johnson, Dylan Alexander, Tenzin Dahl and Carter Meyer with two points each, and Jack Majerus with one.  Alexander also had a team-high eight rebounds, while Dahl added five boards and two assists, and Ryland Martin had two steals.

Waska 67, at Benson 58

Waska (2-18) 25 42 — 67

Benson 26 32 — 58

WASKA stats:  22-60 FG (12-32 3pt); 11-13 FT; 17 assists; 6 blocked shots; 24 rebounds; 10 steals; 15 fouls; 6 turnovers . . . Scoring:   Alex Panitzke 26, Marc Gruber 17, Connor Frey 12, Tenzin Dahl 6, Levi Johnson 4, Owen Meulebroeck 2 . . . Rebounding:  Dylan Alexander 8, Meulebroeck 6, Panitzke 6, Dahl 5, Gruber 4, Frey 2, Zach Palmer 2 . . . Assists:  Alexander 10, Panitzke 5, Johnson 2 . . . Steals:  Gruber 3, Dahl 2, Alexander 2

BENSON stats:   Stats not available


Morris-CA 8, at Waska 47

Morris Area 37 31 — 68

Waska (2-19) 26 21 — 47

WASKA stats:  16-49 FG (3-16 3pt); 12-18 FT; 10 assists; 29 rebounds; 6 steals; 13 fouls; 14 turnovers . . . Scoring:   Owen Meulebroeck 11, Connor Frey 8, Alex Panitzke 7, Marc Gruber 7, Luke Danielson 5, Levi Johnson 2, Dylan Alexander 2, Tenzin Dahl 2, Carter Meyer 2, Jack Majerus 1 . . . Rebounding:  Alexander 8, Dahl 5, Meulebroeck 4, Frey 3, Panitzke 3, Majerus 2, Meyer 2. . . Assists:  Gruber 2, Panitzke 2, Dahl 2 . . . Steals: Ryland Martin 2

MORRIS stats:   Stats not available

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