The Mayer Lutheran boys’ basketball team continues to lead the Minnesota River Conference after three more MRC wins over Belle Plaine, Sibley East, and Norwood Young America. Once holding just a small lead over the other conference teams, the now 9-1 Crusaders are up by three games over Jordan.
Mayer 56, NYA 48
In a Monday night game on Feb. 3, the Crusaders picked up their fourth straight MRC win in a 56-48 game at Norwood Young America. The Raiders opened the game with a 10-0 run, but LHS soon came back to take a 26-17 lead, before NYA came back to tie it 26-26 at halftime, Mayer Lutheran led by only three points with six minutes to play in the game, but the Crusaders would go on a 13-3 run to end the game and pick up the 56-48 victory.
Senior Anthony Gruenhagen led the Crusader charge with 13 points, including 12 in the first half, while sophomore Sam Schlueter and senior Chad Anenson each netted 10. Also scoring for LHS were seniors Cole Buttenhoff (8), Jack Mocol (8), and Mason Diedrick (5), and junior Taylor Otterstatter (2).
The Crusaders outrebounded Central 30-12 during the game, including seven offensive rebounds in the first half.
Mayer 73, BP 64
LHS kicked off last week at Belle Plaine on Jan. 30. Leading 38-26 headed into the locker room and scoring an additional 36 points in the second half, the Crusaders had a 59 percent shooting night (33-56) on Jan. 30, on their way to a 73-64 victory over the Tigers of Belle Plaine.
Gruenhagen led the charge for LHS, netting 31 points, followed by Otterstatter (15) and Buttenhoff (12). Also contributing points for the Crusaders were seniors Mitch Krause (6), Joel Burfeind (3), Brandon Wroge (3), Anenson (2), and Jack Mocol (2). The Crusaders were 16-30 in the first half (53 percent) and a hot 17-26 (65 percent) in the second half from the floor. Krause (6) and Burfeind (5) led in assists, along with Buttenhoff (3) and Anenson (2).
On defense, the Crusaders outrebounded Belle Plaine 28-22, including 11 offensive rebounds. Gruenhagen and Otterstatter led the defense with eight boards a piece, followed by Buttenhoff (6), Krause (4), Diedrick (1), and Wroge (1). The LHS defense also snagged 11 steals.
Mayer 88, Sibley East 77
Still on the road at Sibley East on Feb. 1, the Crusaders handily outrebounded the Wolverines 46-19, including 30 defensive rebounds to Sibley East’s 10.
Mayer Lutheran led 44-37 at half and outscored the Wolverines 44-40 in the second half for the 11-point 88-77 victory.
Sibley East’s two players in double digits were no match for the Crusader offense, as Anenson (17), Buttenhoff (16), Gruenhagen (13), and Otterstatter (12) also posted over 10 points. Burfeind (7), Wroge (6), senior Chase Anderson (6), sophomore Sam Schlueter (6), Diedrick (3), and senior Matt Huinker (1) also contributed. Burfeind led the team with 10 assists.
Burfeind logged 10 rebounds, the most of any Crusader, followed by Buttenhoff (8) and Anenson (4). Burfeind (5) and Buttenhoff (4) also gathered most of the team’s steals.
Now 14-4 overall, the Crusaders have a busy weekend, hosting LeSueur-Henderson Feb. 7 and Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity Feb. 8. Next week, Mayer Lutheran hits the road to LeSueur and Watertown.
Contact Melissa Marohl at email@example.com