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High School Boys Basketball: CMCS Bluejays turn the tide

A 16-2 run boosts Bluejays past LQPV in top Camden matchup

031221.S.WCT.CMCS BBB Blake Greenwaldt
Central Minnesota Christian senior Blake Greenwaldt floats into the lane for a layup during Thursday's Camden Conference game against Lac qui Parle Valley in Prinsburg. Patrick Bernadeau / West Central Tribune
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PRINSBURG — With Lac qui Parle Valley dropping its last two games and Central Minnesota Christian falling in its previous home contest, each team entered Thursday night’s Camden Conference matchup desperate for a victory.

The Bluejays used a 16-2 run in the first half to take a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. They captured a 60-54 win against the Eagles from Central Minnesota Christian School.

CMCS and LQPV each ended the regular season tied atop the Camden-North Division standings at 14-2. LQPV entered Thursday’s game ranked ninth in Class A.

“It was a pretty meaningful game as far as a chance to tie for the (division) championship with them,” Bluejays head coach Ted Taatjes said. “We didn’t look really amazing the last time we played them at their place. I’m just proud of how the kids came out.”

Eagles senior Mykey Elias capped a 8-2 run with a corner 3-pointer to give the visitors a 19-14 advantage with 8 minutes, 9 seconds left before halftime. The rest of the first half belonged to the Bluejays.

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Photo Gallery: LQPV Eagles at CMCS Bluejays

CMCS responded out of a timeout with an 8-0 surge. A basket from Caleb Vander Beek followed by 3-pointers from Case Mulder and Ethan Bulthuis lifted the home team to a 22-19 lead and forced the road team to call a timeout.

The Bluejays extended their run thanks to a diverse offensive attack. CMCS slowed the game down in the half-court, using ball movement to create looks on the perimeter (Mulder and Bulthuis 3-pointers) or post-ups for Vander Beek. The junior forward made it 26-21 with an up-and-under move on the left block.

When CMCS wasn’t executing its half-court offense, it was getting points on the break. Off a LQPV miss, Mulder pushed the ball up the floor before dishing it off to Vander Beek for an easy bucket. On the ensuing possession following another Eagles miss, senior Blake Greenwaldt delivered an outlet pass to junior Ben Van Eps, who hit another layup. Trailing 30-21, LQPV again called a timeout.

CMCS led by as much as 54-41 in the second half before the Eagles made a late rally.

Maverick Conn knocked down a 3-pointer to make it 56-51 with 59 seconds remaining. After forcing a five-second-inbounding violation, the Eagles had a chance to cut their deficit to two, but Hunter Conn saw his 3-pointer from straight away bounce off the front rim.

The Bluejays held on the rest of the way.

“There’s some stuff we have to work on definitely, but they gutted it out and they stuck together,” Taatjes said. “It was just fun to be a part of a full gym with both crowds cheering. It was just a fun atmosphere and fun game to be a part of.”

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Mulder led CMCS with 20 points. Van Eps (16) and Vander Beek (13) scored in double figures. Greenwaldt added eight points and a team-best 12 rebounds.

With a 15-3 overall record, LQPV will enter the Section 3A-North tournament as the top seed and begin their postseason at 7 p.m. Thursday in Madison. The team faces Tuesday’s winner between No. 8 Dawson-Boyd and No. 9 Canby.

At 14-4, the Bluejays, the No. 2 seed, take on the winner of No. 7 Wabasso and No. 10 Yellow Medicine East.

Camden
CMCS 60,
LQPV 54

LQPV (15-3) 25 29 — 54
CMCS (14-4) 30 30 — 60
LQPV - Stats not available
CMCS - Scoring: Ethan Bulthuis 3, Case Mulder 20, Blake Greenwaldt 8, Ben Van Eps 16, Caleb Vander Beek 13 … 3-point shots: Bulthuis 1, Mulder 4, Greenwaldt 2, Van Eps 1 … Rebound leader: Greenwaldt 12, Vander Beek 7 … Assist leader: Greenwaldt 6, Mulder 5 … Steal leader: Four with 2 ... Block leader: Vander Beek 2.

D-B 51,
RCW 42

Dawson-Boyd outscored Renville County West 32-25 in the second half to collect an upset win at Dawson.

Micah Olson led the Blackjacks with 16 points. Keegon Wicht (14) and Gauge Liebl (13) also scored in double figures for the home team. Liebl added a game-high 12 rebounds.

Riley Ashburn led the Jaguars with 16 points, eight rebounds and three blocks.

RCW plays Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley at 2:30 p.m. Saturday in Graceville. Dawson-Boyd closes out the regular season by playing at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg.

RCW (12-5) 17 25 — 42
D-B (3-14) 19 32 — 51
RCW - Scoring: Brandon Hoberg 3, Riley Ashburn 16, Tyler Froland 10, Nathan Schmidt 9, Jaden Kolker 4 … 3-point shots: Hoberg 1, Ashburn 2, Schmidt 1 … Rebound leader: Ashburn 8, Hoberg 6, Froland 6 … Assist leader: Hoberg 2, Ashburn 2, Kolker 2 … Steal leader: Froland 2 ... Block leader: Ashburn 3
D-B - Scoring: Zeke Sather 3, Micah Olson 16, Collin Swedzinski 1, Gauge Liebl 13, Jordan Hastad 4, Keegon Wicht 14 … 3-point shots: Sather 1, Olson 1, Liebl 1, Wicht 1 … Rebound leader: Liebl 12 … Assist leader: N/A … Steal leader: Four with 1 ... Block leader: N/A

MACCRAY 55,
KMS 47

Isaac Strommer scored a game-high 15 and Brady Kienitz delivered a double-double during MACCRAY’s win over Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg at Clara City.

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The Wolverines end the regular season winning four of their last five games.

Strommer went 6-for-10 from the field and was 2 of 4 from three-point territory. Kienitz had 14 points and 10 assists. Brooke Asche had 11 points and Trenton Cavaness put up five points and 10 rebounds.

Alex Call and Jared Cortez each had 12 points for the Fighting Saints.

KMS (5-11) 20 27 — 47
MACCRAY (8-10) 24 31 — 55
KMS - Scoring: Alex Call 12, Isaac Rudningen 8, Issac Call 7, Jared Cortez 12, Gage Thorson 6, Drew Johnson 2 … 3-point shots: Cortez 2 … Rebound leader: A. Call 4, G. Thorson 4, Johnson 4 … Assist leader: Rudningen 4 … Steal leader: A. Call 5 ... Block leader: N/A
MACCRAY - Scoring: Isaac Strommer 15, Brady Kienitz 14, Will Asche 5, Brooks Asche 11, Isaac Post 5, Trenten Cavaness 5 … 3-point shots: Strommer 2, Kienitz 1, W. Asche 1, B. Asche 3, Post 1 … Rebound leader: Cavaness 10 … Assist leader: Kienitz 10 … Steal leader: Kienitz 4, B. Asche 3 ... Block leader: Kienitz 1, B. Asche 1

Non-Conference
Hutchinson 69,
Willmar 58

Hutchinson’s one-two punch of Devon Verhasselt and Sam Rensch dominated for the Tigers in their victory over Willmar at Hutchinson.

Verhasselt had 31 points on 71.4% shooting, including 80% from 3-point range (4 of 5). Rensch had 25 points, 11 rebounds and three steals. Rensch shot 55.6% (10 of 18) and made 5 of 12 3-pointers (41.7%).

Alex Schramm led the Cardinals. He had 20 points, including six 3-pointers. Jacob Rosendahl added 13 points, six rebounds and two steals and Ross Minnick had 11 points, seven rebounds and two steals.

Willmar plays at 7:15 p.m. Friday at Alexandria.

Willmar (6-11) 24 34 — 58
Hutchinson (8-9) 34 35 — 69
WILLMAR - Scoring: Hunter Magnuson 2, Jacob Rosendahl 13, Cayden Hansen 9, Alex Schramm 20, Sam Raitz 3, Ross Minnick 11 … 3-point shots: Rosendahl 3-10, Hansen 1-4, Schramm 6-17, Minnick 1-5 … Rebound leaders: Minnick 7, Raitz 6, Hansen 6, Rosendahl 6 … Assist leader: Hansen 5 … Steal leaders: Rosendahl 2, Minnick 2 ... Block leaders: Magnuson 1, Schramm 1, Blake Schoolmesster 1
HUTCHINSON - Scoring: Devon Verhasselt 31, Carson Hutton 2, Carson Hutton 2, Billy Marquardt 4, Sam Starke 2, Colin Nage 3, Sam Rensch 25, Aaron Elliott 2 … 3-point shots: Verhasselt 4-5, Rensch 5-12 … Rebound leader: Rensch 11 … Assist leader: N/A … Steal leader: Rensch 3 ... Block leader: N/A

Litchfield 70,
Melrose 67

Litchfield enjoyed a 15-point lead late before hanging on at Melrose.

The Dutchmen suffered their first loss of the season. They entered the night ranked fifth in Class AA.

The Dragons are ranked 15th. They led at halftime 34-26.

Litchfield plays at 7 p.m. Friday at Annandale.

Litchfield (13-4) 34 36 — 70
Melrose (16-1) 26 41 — 67

Redwood Valley 74,
Montevideo 56

With a 41-21 edge at halftime, Redwood Valley scooped up a non-conference win over host Montevideo.

The Thunder Hawks got 14 points apiece from Justin Collins and Landon Stock. Collins also led the team with seven rebounds and four steals.

Montevideo finishes the regular season at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Minnewaska.

Redwood Valley (11-6) 41 33 — 74
Montevideo (5-11) 21 35 — 56
REDWOOD VALLEY - Stats not available
MONTEVIDEO - Scoring: Justin Collins 14, Landon Stock 14, Colby Buseman 8, Francis O’Malley 7, Kaden Boike 6, Andrew Vanbinsbergen 3, Mason Jerve 2, Isaac Perez 1, Bradyn Schultz 1 … 3-point shots: O’Malley 1 … Rebound leader: Collins 7 … Assist leader: Boike 3 … Steal leader: Collins 4 ... Block leader: Buseman 1, Connor Olsen-Blake 1

Osakis 58,
Minnewaska 33

Bauer Klimek had 18 points and Mekai Hoelscher and Brady Mages each had 12 to lead the Osakis Silverstreaks to the victory at Glenwood.

Peyton Johnsrud led Minnewaska with 10 points.

Osakis (13-4) 30 28 — 58
Minnewaska (6-10) 20 13 — 33
OSAKIS - Scoring: Mekai Hoelscher 12, Kellen Anderson 3, Kyle Mages 5, Bauer Klimek 18, Drew Imdieke 2, Carter Watnaas 4, Brady Mages 12, Aaron Nack 2 … 3-point shots: Hoelscher 4, Klimek 4 … Rebound leader: N/A… Assist leader: N/A … Steal leader: N/A... Block leader: N/A
MINNEWASKA - Scoring: Peyton Johnsrud 10, Ethan Quelle 2, Sam Hested 2, Aaron Ver Steeg 4, Hunter Kostelecky 7, Brady Hoffman 8 … 3-point shots: P. Johnsrud 1-6, Kostelecky 1-1… Rebound leaders: Ver Steeg 7, Hoffman 5 … Assist leader: Ver Steeg 2 … Steal leaders: P. Johnsrud 1, Connor Johnsrud 1, Hofman 1 ... Block leader: P. Johnsrud 1, Kostelecky 1, Hoffman 1

Central Minnesota
Paynesville 66,
Royalton 45

Corbin Froelich poured in a game-high 33 points during Paynesville’s blowout win at Royalton.

Max Athmann had 12 points for the Bulldogs while Eli Nelson added 10.

Zach Cekalla scored 13 points for the Royals.

Paynesville is host to Melrose at 7:15 p.m. Friday.

Paynesville (10-7) 33 33 — 66
Royalton (7-10) 24 21 — 45
PAYNESVILLE - Scoring: Eli Nelson 10, Gus Johnson 2, Grayson Fuchs 2, Chase Bayer 8, Kaidn Ludwig 2, Corbin Froelich 27, Max Athmann 12, Mitchell Bertram 3 … 3-point shots: N/A … Rebound leader: N/A … Assist leader: N/A … Steal leader: N/A ... Block leader: N/A
ROYALTON - Scoring: Zack Cekalla 13, Joseph Achen 5, Brady Brezinka 8, Blake Albright 10, Jackson Psyck 2, Tristan Pekula 7… 3-point shots: N/A … Rebound leader: N/A … Assist leader: N/A … Steal leader: N/A ... Block leader: N/A
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