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Albert Lea coach Lucas Kreusher talks Tuesday to his Tigers during a first-half timeout. The Tigers trailed by 10 at the half. – Heather Rule/Albert Lea Tribune

Tigers fall to Scarlets

Published 10:55pm Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Albert Lea boys’ basketball team dropped its third game in a row with a 77-58 loss to Big 9 opponent Mankato West Tuesday night.

Albert Lea head coach Lucas Kreusher didn’t single anyone out for individual performances on the court. It’s about the team as a whole.

“We need to improve as a team,” Kreusher said.

The Tigers trailed by 10 at the break, after a first half filled with a few runs from both sides and neither team letting the game slip away.

Albert Lea guard Dylan See-Rockers releases the ball Tuesday for a 3-point shot during the first half against Mankato West. See-Rockers finished the game with 11 points. – Heather Rule/Albert Lea Tribune

However, the second half was another story.

The Tigers quickly saw the deficit increase further into double-digit territory, staying somewhere in the 15-20 point range.

“Second half, we didn’t come out with the mentality that we should have,” Kreusher said.

That’s not to say the Tigers didn’t have their moments. Junior Cody Scherff scored the first bucket of the second half for the Tigers, and senior Dylan See-Rockers added a steal on West’s first possession. Senior Jorge Sena connected with senior Miles Erdman for a give-and-go basket soon after, followed by another Tiger steal to bring the score back within reach at 36-31, West with the lead.

Unfortunately for Albert Lea, West senior Austin Majeskie answered quickly with a 3-pointer, and he added another one shortly after. Quite possibly a momentum-killer for the Tigers.

“West did a good job of keeping…they just kept attacking,” Kreusher said. “They kept moving the ball.”

It also didn’t help when the shots didn’t fall for Albert Lea either.

“I thought we let our offense affect our defense,” Kreusher said. “I think some of our frustrations, we didn’t move on to the next play.”

Erdman recorded a double-double for the Tigers, with 12 points (second on the team) and 10 rebounds. As a team, Albert Lea grabbed 37 rebounds and 12 steals. Scherff led the scoring with 14 points, and he also added 8 rebounds, 2 steals and an assist.

Even minutes after the loss, coach Kreusher looked ahead to what’s next. He wants to prepare his team for its next game this week at Faribault.

“I’m anxious for practice tomorrow,” Kreusher said. “I’m anxious to see how we respond.

“We need to play with our toughness. It’s there. We have it.”

They just need to find it. And they will, Kreusher said.

The loss drops Albert Lea’s overall record to .500 at 10-10 and 5-9 in the Big 9. The Tigers won their 10th game of the season against Rochester Mayo Feb. 5, but since then have lost on the road to Mankato East and Austin.

The Tigers travel to Faribault for a 7:30 p.m. tipoff Friday in another conference game.

 

Mankato West 77, Albert Lea 58

MW     33     44    –    77

AL       23      35    –    58

AL stats: Cody Scherff 14 points, 8 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 assist; Miles Erdman 12 points, 10 rebounds, 2 steals; Dylan See-Rockers 11 points, 3 steals, 2 rebounds, 1 assist; Jorge Sena 7 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 assist; Tyler Vandenheuvel 4 points, 6 rebounds; Goding Wall 4 points, 2 rebounds; Cole Keyeski 2 points, 1 steal; Tesloch Kuey 2 points, 3 rebounds, 2 steals; Makael Lunning 2 points.