Spartans cruise past A.L.

Published 7:33am Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Kevale Taylor and Nate Penz both scored 17 points a piece Tuesday for the Rochester Mayo Spartans boys’ basketball team, who shot 63 percent from the field, and beat the Albert Lea Tigers 85-59.

Along with shooting 63 percent, the Spartans excelled from the 3-point line as they made 13 threes on the night.

Albert Lea's Silas Randall shoots a layup during the first half Tuesday against Rochester Mayo at Albert Lea High School. Mayo outscored Albert Lea 26-6 going into halftime and won 85-59. -- Jon Theuer/Albert Lea Tribune

Early in the first half, the Tigers trailed by only two points with eight minutes and five seconds to go as Kyle Ooms made a two-point layup to cut the Spartan lead to 16-14.

From that point on, the Spartans outscored the Tigers 26-6 over the final 7:51 to go into the break with a 42-20 lead.

The Tigers tried to get back into the game in the second half and outscored the Spartans 21-12 over the first nine minutes to put Albert Lea within 13 points as the Spartans led 54-41.

The Spartans responded to Albert Lea’s run as they drilled three 3-pointers in a row and pushed the lead back to 19 points.

The Spartans then outscored the Tigers 24-18 over the final 7:06 to secure the win.

“Going into the game, we knew they were capable of hitting threes,” Tigers coach Lucas Kreuscher said. “We kind of proved them right. They made 13 three’s and the frustrating thing is all of them were very open looks.”

Rochester Mayo’s Nate Penz and Kevale Taylor gave the Tigers nightmares all night as they combined to score 34 points and hit nine 3-pointers

“We were a step behind tonight that’s for sure,” Kreuscher said.

While the Spartans drilled the Tigers for 85 points, the Spartans defense also had its moments as it held the Tigers to 38 percent shooting for the game and 20 first-half points.

Kyle Ooms led the Tigers with 25 points and also grabbed 12 rebounds for a double-double.

Alik Smed and Tyler Wichmann both scored seven points for Albert Lea.

The Tigers are back in at 7:30 p.m. on Friday as they play at Austin.