Confidence issues holding back Eagles

NEW ULM – New Ulm High School boy’s basketball coach Steve Foley said his team’s 66-53 loss to Hutchinson on Friday night was due in large part to how his team handled the pressure.

“It was uncharacteristic of us,” said Foley, who saw his team take an early 19-6 lead. “We have been handling pressure all year but we seemed out of sorts in the game. We were turning the ball over and rushing our shots. I thought that the first half lost us the game. We played well enough in the second half to win the game. We did not make some shots but we played good defense and we rebounded real well. Right now we need to play more consistently.”

Foley did not know if his team relaxed to much with that big 13-point lead early.

“Part of me thinks that they may have gotten over-confident and we thought that we could make every shot that we took and any pass that they wanted,” Foley said. “I did sub there and maybe I went too long with the subs. I thought that our starters were playing real well and maybe I let them go to long to begin the game – that was somewhat atypical of what I normally do in the rotation.”

The loss dropped New Ulm ot 2-5 on the season but two of the losses were a six-point loss to Fairmont and a three-point loss to Blue Earth Area. Throw in a winnable game Friday with Hutch and the Eagles could realistically could have their record reversed at 5-2 right now.

“I talked to one of my players [Saturday morning] and we talked about the mindset here about basketball. We are good enough to beat all three of those teams,” Foley said. “In the game against Hutch one of my assistants said that it seemed like the kids all of a sudden went we are not supposed to beat Hutchinson. It might be a case of learning how to win – we have to play with confidence.”

While Grant Kannegiesser has been consistent, the Eagles will try to find someone to complement him.

“Tyler [Dittrich] played well Friday with good rebounding and defense,” Foley said. “He shoots the ball well and takes good shots. Tanner Ogren and Jackson Yackley, I looked at the stats from the game and one of them was 2-for-10 and the other was 3-for-12 from the field,” Foley said. “In my opinion those are two better guards who should be shooting the ball. It is tough to win a game when you shoot 20 percent.”

LOCAL STUFF:When North Dakota State defeated Notre Dame 73-69, Marshall Bjorkland (Sibley East) scored 26 points and had five rebounds, Mike Felt (Redwood Valley) is averaging 9.5 points a game for NDSU.

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