Revamped Redwood boys surpass expectations
With no starters returning from a season ago, people didn't know what to expect from the Redwood Valley boys basketball team this season. No one coming back averaged more than seven points a game on a squad that went 16-10 last season. But the yo...
With no starters returning from a season ago, people didn't know what to expect from the Redwood Valley boys basketball team this season.
No one coming back averaged more than seven points a game on a squad that went 16-10 last season.
But the young Cardinals (two-thirds of the team are underclassmen) are above .500 at 4-3 to start the season. Three of their wins have come just before the final buzzer sounded.
"Every game we have trailed in double digits except Litchfield," said Redwood Valley first-year coach Kelly Raymond. "I'll be the first to tell you that we don't have the most talented team, but the guys don't quit and give up."
After opening the season with a non-conference loss to current unbeaten Montevideo, 88-65, the Cardinals escaped Litchfield on Dec. 6 with a 56-53 win after junior guard Aaron Marks drained a three-pointer at the buz-zer.
Four days later, Redwood Valley upended Cedar Mountain in a non-conference game, 67-56.
A week later, coming off a loss to Class AAA top-ranked Marshall, Redwood Valley junior center Dan Bonebright nailed a 15-foot turnaround jump-er at the horn to gave the Cardinals a 64-62 road win over Southwest Conference rival Pipestone.
In their next game at the their own holiday tournament, the Cardinals edged St. James 58-57 on Dec. 27 when senior guard Eric Ellingworth made a 19-foot jumper with only 10 seconds remaining. Redwood Valley went on to fall in the championship game 67-64 to Lakeview after trailing by 10 at halftime.
"The guys are sweating and working throughout the whole game and that's a sign of a team getting after it," said Raymond. "I told the guys that one time I would like a 10-point lead, but the team likes a challenge.
"We have short, intense practices and I don't like to talk a lot during practice. If I need to tell them something, I'll make it quick and move on. They set goals to play hard and finish hard."
The Cardinals host Luverne today, their third of a current six-game homestand.