PREP BOYS’ BASKETBALL: Bluejays defeat Eagles

NEW ULM – Coming off a 32-point loss to Norwood-Young America on Tuesday, the New Ulm boys basketball team was looking to bounce back against South Central Conference foe Waseca.

The Eagles struggled early on and they couldn’t quite get the fire started as the Bluejays soared to a 70-45 victory Thursday night.

It took New Ulm seven minutes to score before a nice baseline drive by Blake Piotter finally stopped the scoreless streak.

Waseca added two more scores after Piotter’s bucket to increase the lead to 18-2, leading to a timeout by New Ulm head coach Steve Foley.

Foley was clearly upset with his team’s play and he expressed it during the break.

“Just trying to get the kids fired up,” Foley said. “Working hard, that’s all I want them to do. I don’t care if we win or lose, if we work our tails off and lose I’m fine with it. We just need to work harder.”

New Ulm got back-to-back layups from Tyler Dittrich and Tanner Kluis (team-high 12 points) and cut the deficit to 20-6 with 6:30 remaining.

New Ulm added seven more points in the half on scores from Riley Drahota and Isaiah Johnson and Jackson Yackley converted a three-point play.

The Eagles trailed 39-13 at the break, but they came out a lot stronger in the second half as they outscored Waseca 32-31.

Mulder started the scoring with a 3-pointer and with 9:40 remaining sophomore Jarin Spence found Tanner Kluis open in the paint for two more.

Spence used his size to power into the paint for two more buckets down the stretch as the Eagles fell to 5-14 on the season.

“It’s kind of a reflection of Tuesday night,” Foley said. “Tuesday night we didn’t come out playing and tonight we didn’t either. They came out with intensity, ready to play and we weren’t.”

New Ulm will get a full week of practice to prepare for another conference rival, the Fairmont Cardinals, who will come into town next Friday for the second match-up of the season between the two teams.

Waseca’s leading scorers were Josh Kummerfeldt (14 points), Brock Kolander (13 points) and Nick Dufault (12 points).

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