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High School Boys Basketball Roundup: Rockford rallies to come away with win over Litchfield

Rockets knock off Dragons 59-56 in a defensive struggle

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Litchfield junior Beau Weseloh (24) fights for the loose ball with a Rockford player during the first half of Friday's Wright County Conference game at Litchfield High School. Joe Brown / West Central Tribune
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LITCHFIELD — In a matchup of the Wright County West’s top-scoring offense against its stingiest defense, something had to give on Friday night.

In the first half, the Dragons’ stout defense held the edge as the hosts went into the locker room leading 28-22.

The second half, it was time for the Rockets’ offense to take flight with a 37-28 edge, leading to a 59-56 Rockford victory at Litchfield High School.

Coming into Friday’s contest, the Rockets averaged 78.5 points per game while the Dragons allowed 48.2.

Tyson Michels and Avery Liestman did the heavy lifting for the Dragons in the first half with 11 points apiece in the opening 18 minutes. Down 21-20, Litchfield went on an 8-1 run to close the first half, with Liestman scoring five and Michels three in that stretch.

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Liestman ended the night with a game-high 24 points on 9 of 16 shooting (3 of 6 3-point) along with nine rebounds. Michels ended with 13 points.

In the second half, the Rockets’ Sam Zilmer scored 13 of his team-high 18 points, going 4 of 9 from outside the arc. He also had seven rebounds. Ryan Boysen had 14 points, followed by 12 from Nolan Perry.

Rockford got the win despite shooting just 33% (22 of 66) compared to Litchfield’s 50% (24 of 48). The Rockets did keep possessions alive courtesy of 10 offensive rebounds, compared to just three for the Dragons.

Litchfield will look to rebound in its next game at 7 p.m. Tuesday at New London-Spicer.

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Litchfield senior Avery Liestman (5) puts up a layup attempt during the first half of Friday's Wright County Conference game against Rockford at Litchfield High School. Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

Wright County
Rockford 59,
Litchfield 56

Rockford (6-1) 22 37 — 59
Litchfield (4-2) 28 28 — 56
ROCKFORD - Scoring: Joe London 3, Nolan Perry 12, Henry Skinner 2, Sam Zilmer 18, Dereek Pepin 3, Ryan Boysen 14, Alex Altmann 4, Noah Anderson 2, Ryan Lowe 1 … 3-point shots: London 1, Perry 2, Zilmer 4, Boysen 2 … Rebound leader: Zilmer 7, Boysen 6 … Assist leader: Boysen 4 … Steal leader: Boysen 2, Altmann 2 ... Block leader: None
LITCHFIELD - Scoring: Ben Alsleben 6, Tyson Michels 13, Avery Liestman 24, Alex Draeger 4, Beau Weseloh 4, Christian Kelsey 5 … 3-point shots: Liestman 3, Kelsey 1 … Rebound leader: Michels 9, Liestman 9 … Assist leader: Weseloh 6 … Steal leader: Logan King 2, Weseloh 2 ... Block leader: Michels 1

Watertown-Mayer 59,
NLS 55

Watertown-Mayer prevailed at New London-Spicer, rallying from a 40-22 halftime deficit to beat the Wildcats.

For the Royals, Wyatt McCabe had 20 points and John Mueller added 16 with 12 rebounds. Albert Rundell scored 10.

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For NLS, Peyton Coahran had 11 points. Brycen Christensen and Jaden Zylstra each added 10. Christensen also had 10 rebounds and Zylstra made three steals.

NLS hosts Litchfield at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

NLS (3-4) 40 15 — 55
Watertown-Mayer (4-2) 22 37 — 59
NEW LONDON-SPICER - Scoring: Aeden Andresen 2, Brycen Christensen 10, Peyton Coahran 11, Tyler Danielson 6, Wolzen Holland 2, Levi Strich 9, Mason Toutges 5, Jaden Zylstra 10 … 3-point shots: Christensen 2, Coahran 3, Streich 1, Toutges 1 … Rebound leader: Christensen 10 … Assist leader: Holland 4 … Steal leader: Zylstra 3 ... Block leader: Three with 1
WATERTOWN-MAYER - Scoring: Mitchell Burns 8, Justin King 2, Wyatt McCabe 20, John Mueller 16, Sawyer Ritter 3, Albert Rundell 10 … 3-point shots: Burns 1, Ritter 1, Rundell 1 … Rebound leader: Mueller 12, Burns 8, Rundell 7 … Assist leader: McCabe 5 … Steal leader: McCabe 7 ... Block leader: None

Central Lakes
Willmar 76,
Bemidji 69

Outside shooting proved to be one difference for Willmar in its victory over Bemidji at the Big Red Gym.

The Cards shot 45.5% from 3-point range (10 of 22). The Lumberjacks shot 20% (3 of 15).

Still, the game was close throughout.

Willmar’s biggest lead in the second half was 60-50 with 7:59 remaining when Ross Minnick hit a 3-pointer off a pass by Jacob Rosendahl, who had six assists in the game.

Bemidji closed the deficit to 61-60 with 4:56 to go on a field goal by Gavin Luksik, who finished with 22 points. But that’s as close as the Lumberjacks would get. Willmar scored the next six points. Bemidji got no closer than a five-point deficit the rest of the way.

Rosendahl led the Cardinals with 23 points. Chase Dirksen added 15 and Alex Schramm 10.

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Willmar welcomes Alexandria into the Big Red Gym at 7:15 p.m. Thursday

Bemidji (3-3) 36 33 — 69
Willmar (4-3) 40 36 — 76
BEMIDJI - Scoring: James Williams 4, Sam Wilson 7, Matt Arel 8, Isaac Severts 14, Gavin Luksik 22, James LaValley 2, Khai Branham 12 … 3-point shots: Wilson 1-3, Arel 2-3 … Rebound leaders: Luksik 7, Branham 7 … Assist leaders: Arel 2, Luksik 2 … Steal leaders: Isaiah Biehn 3, Severts 3, Luksik 3 ... Block leader: none
WILLMAR - Scoring: Hunter Magnuson 3, Jacob Rosendahl 23, Cayden Hansen 8, Chase Dirksen 15, Alex Schramm 10, Blake Schoolmeester 5, Sam Raitz 4, Ross Minnick 6, Aaron Watland 2 … 3-point shots: Magnuson 1-2, Rosendahl 3-6, Hansen 1-1, Dirksen 1-1, Schramm 2-8, Schoolmeester 1-3, Minnick 1-1 … Rebound leaders: Rosendahl 10, Schoolmeester 6 … Assist leaders: Rosendahl 6, Dirksen 4, Schramm 3 … Steal leader: Rosendahl 3 ... Block leaders: Dirksen 1, Raitz 1, Minnick 1

Camden
CMCS 62,
KMS 46

Central Minnesota Christian remained unbeaten with the victory over Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg at Prinsburg.

CMCS (7-0) led 40-22 at halftime and cruised.

Ethan Bulthuis had 19 points, Ben Van Eps 15 and Case Mulder 14 for the Bluejays.

For the Fighting Saints, Isaac Rudningen poured in 16 points and Isaac Call had 13 with nine points and four assists.

KMS faces Lac qui Parle Valley at 7:30 p.m. in Madison.

CMCS plays Dawson-Boyd at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday in Prinsburg.

KMS (2-5) 22 24 — 46
CMCS (7-0) 40 22 — 62
KERKHOVEN-MURDOCK-SUNBURG - Scoring: Isaac Rudningen 16, Isaac Call 13, Jared Cortez 4, Gavin Thorson 6, Gage Thorson 5, Drew Johnson 1, Hunter Kallstrom 1 … 3-point shots: Rudningen 2, Cortez 1, Gav. Thorson 1 … Rebound leader: Call 9 … Assist leader: Six with 1 … Steal leader: Call 4 ... Block leader: None
CENTRAL MINNESOTA CHRISTIAN - Scoring: Ethan Bulthuis 19, Case Mulder 14, Blake Greenwaldt 8, Ben Van Eps 15, Caleb Vander Beek 6 … 3-point shots: Bulthuis 4-6, Mulder 3-6, Greenwaldt 2-7 … Rebound leaders: VanderBeek 10, Van Eps 9 … Assist leader: Mulder 8 … Steal leader: Van Eps 2 ... Block leader: Van Eps 2

LQPV 62,
D-B 45

Sparked by a trio of double-digit scorers, Lac qui Parle Valley got the better of Camden Conference rival Dawson-Boyd in Dawson.

Maverick Conn led the Eagles with 20 points along with 10 rebounds. Evan Hegland hit five 3-pointers on the way to a 19-point night while Hunter Conn came up with 10 points.

The Blackjacks had three players of their own finish in double figures with Keegon Wicht (13), Gauge Liebl (12) and Micah Olson (11).

LQPV is host to MACCRAY at 7:30 p.m. Monday.

Dawson-Boyd plays Central Minnesota Christian at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday from Prinsburg.

LQPV (7-0) 36 26 — 62
D-B (1-5) 24 21 — 45
LAC QUI PARLE VALLEY- Scoring: Landon Schirm 6, Kaiden Allpress 7, Evan Hegland 19, Hunter Conn 10, Maverick Conn 20 … 3-point shots: Allpress 1, Heglund 5, H. Conn 1, M. Conn 2 … Rebound leader: M. Conn 10, Heglund 10 … Assist leader: M. Conn 7 … Steal leader: Schirm 4 ... Block leader: N/A
DAWSON-BOYD - Scoring: Aiden Swenson 3, Braxton Hahn 2, Micah Olson 11, Collin Swedzinski 1, Gauge Liebl 12, Levi Olson 2, Keegon Wicht 13, Hunter Martinson 1 … 3-point shots: Swenson 1, M. Olson 2, Liebl 2, Wicht 3 … Rebound leader: M. Olson 5, Liebl 5 … Assist leader: Four with 1 … Steal leader: Wicht 3 ... Block leader: None

RCW 75,
MACCRAY 72

Renville County West remained unbeaten with the victory over MACCRAY at Clara City.

Tyler Froland led the Jaguars with 25 points, including a 4-for-7 effort from 3-point range. Riley Ashburn contributed 18 points, 12 rebounds, three assists and three steals. Brandon Hoberg had 12 points and six assists. Nathan Schmidt had 11 rebounds and Jaden Kolker had six assists and three steals.

For the Wolverines, Brady Kienitz had 27 points, eight rebounds and three assists. Gavin Husman added 16 points and three assists and Trenten Cavaness contributed 13 points, 11 rebounds and four assists.

RCW plays Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday from Kerkhoven.

MACCRAY begins a five-game road stretch against Lac qui Parle Valley at 7:30 p.m. Monday from Madison.

RCW (6-0) 37 38 — 75
MACCRAY (3-4) 33 39 — 72
RENVILLE COUNTY WEST - Scoring: Adam Schrupp 8, Brandon Hoberg 12, Riley Ashburn 18, Tyler Froland 25, Nathan Schmidt 5, Jaden Kolker 7 … 3-point shots: Schrupp 2-3, Hoberg 2-8, Froland 4-7, Schmidt 1-1, Kolker 1-3 … Rebound leaders: Ashburn 12, Schmidt 11, Hoberg 9 … Assist leaders: Hoberg 6, Kolker 6, Ashburn 3 … Steal leaders: Hoberg 3, Ashburn 3, Kolker 3 ... Block leader: Froland 1
MACCRAY - Scoring: Isaac Strommer 7, Brady Kienitz 27, Will Asche 5, Gavin Husman 16, Brooks Asche 3, Isaac Post 1, Trenten Cavaness 13 … 3-point shots: Strommer 1-4, Kienitz 3-7, Asche 1-3, Husman 1-2, Cavaness 3-6 … Rebound leaders: Cavaness 11, Kienitz 8 … Assist leaders: Post 4, Cavaness 4, Strommer 3, Kienitz 3, Husman 3 … Steal leaders: Asche 2, Post 2 ... Block leader: Ashe 2

West Central
Montevideo 59,
Minnewaska 56 (2 OT)

Needing two overtimes to settle their West Central Conference matchup, a 3-pointer from Bradyn Schultz to open the second overtime and some key free throws gave host Montevideo the edge over Minnewaska.

Schultz, who led the Thunder Hawks with 16 points and three 3-pointers, hit the game-tying 3-pointer in regulation, putting the score at 49-49. Colby Buseman added 15 points for Montevideo.

The Lakers took the loss despite a strong effort from Peyton Johnsrud, who hit four 3-pointers in a 22-point outing. Sam Hested followed with 12 points, eight rebounds and a pair of steals.

Both teams are back in action at Sauk Centre, with Minnewaska on Tuesday and Montevideo on Thursday.

Minnewaska (3-3) 19 27 3 7 — 56
Montevideo (2-4) 19 27 3 10 — 59
MINNEWASKA - Scoring: Peyton Johnsrud 22, Sam Hested 12, Damon Uhde 6, Aaron Ver Steeg 9, Hunter Kostelecky 5, Brady Hoffman 2 … 3-point shots: Johnsrud 4 … Rebound leader: Ver Steeg 9, Hested 8 … Assist leader: Uhde 5 … Steal leader: Heated 2 ... Block leader: Hoffman 3
MONTEVIDEO - Scoring: Bradyn Schultz 16, Colby Buseman 15, Andrew Vanbinsbergen 9, Kaden Boike 7, Hunter Strand 5, Cole Augeson 3, Landon Stock 2, Francis O’Malley 2 … 3-point shots: Schultz 3, Vanbinsbergen 2, Strand 1, Augeson 1 … Rebound leader: Buseman 8 … Assist leader: Boike 4, Vanbinsbergen 4 … Steal leader: Boike 5 ... Block leader: Buseman 1, Schultz 1

Melrose 70,
BOLD 57

Melrose knocked off visiting BOLD to win the West Central Conference game.

The Dutchmen are ranked fifth in the state in Class AA.

BOLD plays Benson at 7:30 p.m. Monday to conclude a six-game road stretch.

Sauk Centre 53,
Benson 46

Sauk Centre took care of business on the road with a West Central Conference victory over Benson.

With the win, the Mainstreeters are 2-3 while the Braves fall to 1-5.

Benson hosts BOLD at 7:30 p.m. Monday.

Non-Conference
Pine City 79,
Paynesville 76

In a battle of one-loss teams, host Pine City was able to hold off Paynesville for the non-conference win.

The Bulldogs visit Royalton at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday.

Paynesville (5-2) 34 32 — 76
Pine City (6-1) 33 36 — 79

Morris/CA 43,
Hancock 39

Thomas Tiernan had 10 points to lead Morris/Chokio-Alberta to the victory over Hancock at Morris.

Jackson Loge had six points, 11 rebounds, four assists and eight blocked shots for the Tigers.

Hancock (5-2) 15 24 — 39
Morris/CA (6-1) 21 22 — 43
HANCOCK - Stats not available
MORRIS/CA - Scoring: Durgin Decker 5, Cole Wente 7, Brandon Jergenson 9, Thomas Tiernan 10, Jackson Loge 6, Toby Gonnerman 6 … 3-point shots: Wente 1-2, Jergenson 2-8, Tiernan 2-7 … Rebound leader: Loge 11 … Assist leaders: Loge 4, Gonnerman 3, Decker 3 … Steal leader: Decker 2 ... Block leader: Loge 8

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