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6AA Boys Basketball: NLS gains subsection final; Litch's season ends

New London-Spicer's Brett Olson rises up for two of his game-high 19 points in the Wildcats' 59-44 win over Paynesville in the Section 6AA-South semifinals Saturday at St. John's University in Collegeville. The Wildcats advance to the subsection final for the second-straight year, playing Eden Valley-Watkins at 6 p.m. Tuesday at SJU. Tribune photo by Tom Larson.1 / 2
Litchfield's Cody Rau steals the ball from Eden Valley-Watkins' Jared Streit during the second half of a Section 6AA-South semifinal game Saturday at St. John's University in Collegeville. Rau's play was one of few second-half highlights for the Dragons, who fell 62-45 and saw their two-year reign as Section 6AA champion ended. Tribune photo by Tom Larson.2 / 2

COLLEGEVILLE – The New London-Spicer boys basketball team will play for the Section 6AA-South title for a second-straight year, but this time Litchfield won’t be lining up opposite them.

The Wildcats doubled-up Paynesville in the second half of Saturday’s first South subsection game and defeated their former West Central Conference rival 62-45 at St. John’s University.

But Litchfield, the two-time 6AA champion and Class AA state runner-up, could stick with hot-shooting Eden Valley-Watkins and fell to the Eagles 59-44 in Saturday’s second game at SJU.

NLS (17-10) and EVW (16-9) meet for the subsection title at 6 p.m. Tuesday at SJU’s Warner Palaestra.

Brett Olson led the Wildcats with 19 points and Tyson Gislason contributed 12 points and 11 rebounds in their victory over the Bulldogs. Shane Zylstra scored 8 points and had a team-high 13 boards and Ryan Vraa finished with 10 points and 6 rebounds.

Paynesville (11-14) had four players score in double figures, led by Matt Quade, Jordon Roos and Mitchell Weidner all scoring 11 points. Andrew Topp had 10 points. Quade also had 9 rebounds and Topp and Weidner both pulled down 6.

NLS trailed by three at halftime but outscored the Bulldogs 40-20 in the second half. A major factor in the win was a 48-33 rebounding advantage.

EVW shot 54 percent in the first half of Saturday’s other semifinal, but the Eagles couldn’t shake Litchfield, which shot 50 percent and was within two points at 28-26 at the break.

But the Eagles shot even better in the second half – 59 percent -- while the Dragons’ finally ran out of gas.

Dylan Kotzer led the Dragons (9-18) with 10 points, Cody Rau scored 9 and Josh Polingo and Cody Beavers both scored 7.

See the Tribune print edition for more on the two 6AA-South games.

Tom Larson

Tom Larson is the sports editor of the West Central Tribune.

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