Cathedral boys end streak

NEW ULM – The last time that the New Ulm Cathedral boys basketball team defeated Minnesota Valley Lutheran at home was in 1989.

That 24-year drought came to an end Friday night thanks to 18 second-half Chargers’ turnovers and two late clutch 3-pointers by the Greyhounds.

Jake Stadick and Michael Skillings each canned a 3-pointer to erase a 53-51 deficit and lift the Greyhounds to a 58-56 win over the Chargers in a Tomahawk Conference meeting..

Jeff Osborne paced the Greyhounds (4-16, 3-12) with 18 points. Stadick added 16.

Justin Bruns led MVL (4-19, 4-11) with 17 points. Nick Dewanz added 15 and Chad Lease 10.

For Cathedral head coach Paul Hazuka, the win was especially gratifying since it ended the home losing streak to the Chargers.

“I congratulated the kids after the game,” he said. “We did not talk much about the streak ahead of time. Hats off to MVL for their hard work over that time. This is a nice way to end the week – we have not had a lot of wins this year so anytime that we can get one it is special.”

For the Chargers and head coach Craig Morgan, it was a case of where they saw a 31-28 halftime lead build to 35-28 before a dry spell let the Greyhounds gain momentum.

“We had a stretch there in the second half for about six minutes where we did not score and that really hurt us,” Morgan said. “We came down and threw the ball away and they started getting momentum.”

Cathedral would not take advantage of all of the Charger turnovers as it hit just one of its first seven shots from the floor in the second half.

Hazuka was philosophical about his team’s poor shooting.

“I guess if you score on offense, you better play good defense,” he said. “We did knock down a few 3s and we made them turn the ball over.”

Chad Lease’s basket at the 7:40 mark gave MVL a 49-41 lead before the Greyhounds’ Jeff Osborne hit two baskets – the latter coming off of one of the 18 MVL second half miscues – and Ben Kittler canned a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 49-48 with 5:50 left in the game.

A Grunke free throw moved MVL to a 53-51 lead before Stadick canned a 3-pointer to give Cathedral a 54-53 lead with 3:25 left in the game.

Two minutes later, Skillings sank a shot from beyond the arc for a 57-53 lead. A Jacob Gangelhoff free throw with 15 seconds left in the game increased the lead to 58-53.

“Michael Skillings has really come through for us and nailed some shots,” Hazuka said. “And Jake missed some shots earlier but he hit them when we needed it. Give credit to Jeff Osborne for the defense that he played tonight.”

“We took a step backwards tonight in the second half,” Morgan said. “We need to rebound from that – we will work on that Monday in practice.”

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