New Ulm Cathedral upsets Wabasso 65-61

NEW ULM – Following a 66-50 home loss to Minnesota Valley Luteheran on Jan. 13, New Ulm Cathedral boy’s basketball coach Alan Woitas said he hoped that his team could continue to improve and surprise a team later in the season.

Woitas did not have to wait long to see that improvement.

Brandon Beranek, Collin Helget and Michael Skillings each scored in double figures as the Greyhounds pulled a mild upset with a 65-61 win against Wabasso in Tomahawk Conference play on Tuesday night.

Beranek led the Greyhounds (5-10, 3-6 Tomahawk) with 18 points. Helget added 17 and Skillings 15.

Neil Eichten paced the Rabbits (8-6, 4-4) with a game-high 36 points. Tanner Bock contributed 14.

“The reason for the win was that we succeeded on the boards,” Woitas said about the win that avenged an eight-point loss at Wabasso earlier in the season. “We rebounded right with them the whole game, were able to knock down some shots and play at the pace we wanted to. All of those things really helped us. We put together two halfs tonight.”

The first 18 minutes saw the Greyhounds hold the lead the entire way thanks in large part to Skillings, who canned four 3-pointers – his fourth lifting Cathedral to a 30-13 lead with 2:37 left in the first half.

“[Skillings] has the capability to do that from time to time,” Woitas said. “We got the ball inside and he was able to get some good looks from the outside. We found him and he knocked down some big shots for us.”

While Skillings was launching 3s, Collin Helget was providing the inside muscle scoring 10-straight points early in the game as the Greyhounds took a 32-23 halftime lead.

“We played well in that first half maybe with the exception of the last couple of minutes,” Woitas about Wabasso cutting the Cathedral lead from 30-13 to nine points at the break. “They went to a man-to-man and we did not adjust.”

Beranek’s basket early in the second half gave Cathedral 41-27 lead, in which it was seemingly in control.

But that was when Eichten went to work.

Three-straight 3-pointers from the senior cut the lead to 43-37 and his fourth 3-pointer cut the lead to 46-43 before he turned a Greyhounds’ turnover into a basket and the first Wabasso lead of the game at 49-48 with 9:25 left in the contest.

“Neil Eichten is a good player,” Woitas said. “He started to knock down some shots – they were contested shots, they were not clean looks at the basket.”

A free throw by Eichten with 1:15 left in the contest cut the Greyhounds’ lead to 61-60 but a Jacob Gangelhoff basket off a feed from Helget and free throws from Beranek and Jack Schwartz iced the game for Cathedral.

“Our kids did a nice job of responding to their run,” Woitas said. “We did not panic, we stayed poised offensively. We are working hard in pracitce each day and it is nice to be rewarded with a win.”

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