Crusaders defeat NYA for first win

Junior Mason Diedrick (43) sets the screen on an NYA defender so fellow junior Mike Vigil can move up the court on Dec. 20.

Junior Mason Diedrick (43) sets the screen on an NYA defender so fellow junior Mike Vigil can move up the court on Dec. 20.

Weeks in the making, the Mayer Lutheran boys’ basketball team captured its first win of the season on Dec. 20, and a conference win nonetheless. The team is now 1-4 after losing to Sibley East the week prior.

Sibley East 77, Mayer Lutheran 55
To kick off conference action this season, the Crusaders traveled to Sibley East on Dec. 14. Trailing 40-29 after halftime, Sibley East continued to lead the game, winning by 22 points.

Many Crusaders, starters included, struggled to score. Junior Anthony Gruenhagen and freshman Sam Schlueter scored 21 of the Crusaders’ points. Gruenhagen netted 11, while Schlueter had 10. As a team, shooting was weak, and the obviously downfall of the team.

The Crusaders shot just 11 percent from the three-point arc, making only three of 27 attempts. Field goals were better, at 36 percent (16-44). Mayer Lutheran also shot nearly 50 percent from the free throw line, going 9-19.

Mayer Lutheran 56, NYA 43
The Crusaders picked up win number one this season on Dec. 20, hosting NYA Central. Holding on to a narrow halftime lead, it would seem that head coach Dan Perrel’s system basketball idea was finally beginning to click for the team, who controlled the lead throughout the second half.

Gruenhagen and Schlueter again led the team in scoring, netting nearly 30 points between the two. Gruenhagen scored 19 points, assisted by Schlueter’s 10.

Junior Chad Anenson contributed eight points for the Crusaders effort, followed by juniors Mike Vigil (6), Mason Diedrick (6), Joel Burfeind (5), and Cole Buttenhoff (2). Mayer Lutheran shot 39 percent from two-point range (13-33) and sunk seven of 16 three-point attempts. Schlueter nailed five of the Crusaders’ threes in eight attempts. The Crusader offense also snagged 11 steals for the team, and committed 17 turnovers.

The Crusaders will be at a tournament in Cedar Mountain near the end of the month.

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