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Boys Basketball: Wildcats take care of Albany, earn title shot

Brett Olson goes up for fast-break layup on a pass from Aaron Ruter (not shown). Olson finished with a career-high 27 points and Ruter distributed the ball for 11 assists. Tribune photo by Rand Middleton

WILLMAR — Brett Olson scored a career-best 27 points and Joey Dreier chipped in 17 more as the New London-Spicer Wildcats dropped Albany 67-47 on Wednesday in the Bremer Bank Holiday Classic.

The Cats return to the final versus the host team, Willmar, after missing out last year when they lost to Benson the first night.

NLS lost to Albany three times last year, including two West Central North meetings and the Bremer third-place game.

This time they were much the superior team leading 33-22 at halftime. Only once in the second half did Albany dig deep into the NLS lead chiseling it to 7 points but only briefly before it sprung back to double figures.

Wildcats coach Chad Schmeising said the game plan was to apply pressure at both ends of the court.

“Our focus was to pressure the perimeter and used our quickness,” he said.

“Aaron Ruter played a great floor game,” the coach added.

The senior guard handed out 11 assists; he and Dreier each provided six steals as the Huskies were forced into 21 turnovers.

Olson, a 6-2 junior, got to the glass often on Ruter feeds for lay-ins. Dreier put pressure on the Albany defense attacking the basket for seven field goals or dishing off for six assists.

Albany’s biggest scoring threat, Scott Litchy, ended up with 15 points. Dalton Finken supplied 10 points while Zach Raeker, Cody Stich and 5-7 guard Nick Raeker scored six each. Nick also had three assists and four steals and the 6-2 Stich six blocks.

NLS, which shot 48 percent despite 1 of 12 on treys, lifted its record to 4-4; the Huskies take a 2-4 record against the Braves tonight at 6 p.m.

NL-Spicer 67, Albany 47

Albany (2-4)    22  25 — 47

NL-Spicer (4-4)    33  34 — 67

ALBANY – 19-53 FG (3-12 3-pt); 6-10 FT; 25 rebounds; 15 fouls … Scoring: Nick Raeker 6, Brett Fischer 4, Cody Stich 6, Dalton Finken 10, Scott Litchy 13, Zach Raeker 6, Jeremy Rodenwald 2 … 3-point shots: N. Raeker, Stich 2 … Rebound leaders: Finken 5, Litchy 5 … Assist leaders: N. Raeker 3, Fischer 3, Stich 3 … Steal leaders: N. Raeker 6 …  Blocks: Stich 6

NEW LONDON-SPICER – 29-61 FG (1-12 3-pt); 8-10 FT; 36 rebounds; 14 fouls … Scoring: Ryan Vraa 4, Trent Boie 4, Joey Dreier 17, Tyler Halvorson 5, Brett Olson 27, Zach Steffl 2, Aaron Ruter 4, Shane Zylstra 2, Tyson Gislason 2 … 3-point shots: Halvorson… Rebound leaders: Dreier 6, Gislason 5, Olson 5 … Assist leaders: Ruter 11 … Steal leaders: Ruter 6, Dreier 6 … Blocks: Gislason 2

Rand Middleton
Tribune photographer/videographer. Began working in radio and at weekly newspaper in Munising, Michigan, in 1972. Started parttime at West Central Daily Tribune Sept. 1974. Fulltime news/sports beginning Feb. 1979. Married to Tribune news clerk Donna (Miller) Middleton, formerly of Kerkhoven. 2 grown children. 
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