PREP BOYS’ BASKETBALL: Redwood Valley slams Thunderbirds 75-35

WINTHROP – Redwood Valley combined its high percentage 3-point shooting with tenacious defense to roll over Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop 75-35 in a non-conference boys’ basketball game on Thursday.

Thane Widmer, Alec Koster and Steven Runkel each hit a 3-pointer in the first three minutes to help the Cardinals jump out to an early 13-4 lead.

“As a team in general we shoot a lot of 3s every game, and the zone helped us get a lot of open looks,” Koster said.

Koster, Widmer and Runkel led Redwood Valley in scoring with 17, 12 and 11 points, respectively.

The Cardinals played aggressive defense all night, which caused the Thunderbirds to turn the ball over several times. GFW struggled to get any offense going against a tough Redwood Valley defense.

“The errors we made, for the most part, were forced by what Redwood Valley was doing,” GFW head coach Rich Busse said. “(Redwood Valley) didn’t give us anything easy, and we knew that they wouldn’t.”

The Cardinals led by as many as 20 points in the first half and led by 18 points when the two teams went into the locker rooms for halftime.

Jack Bussler and Koster hit back-to-back 3-pointers for Redwood Valley to start the second half, which spurred a 16-3 Redwood Valley run.

The Cardinals continued to extend their lead throughout the second half, leading by as many as 43 points.

“The intensity and focus necessary to succeed at this level needs to be present every second of the game, and it was not there tonight,” Busse said.

Brett Rickheim led the Thunderbirds with 12 points and 10 rebounds, recording a double-double. Seth Schuette added 10 points for GFW.

Redwood Valley (19-5, 8-4) plays its final regular season game at home against Tracy-Milroy-Balaton on Monday, while GFW (7-15, 5-10) travels to play at Minnesota Valley Lutheran on Monday.

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