Albert Lea senior forward Tyler Shaw shoots over Owatonna junior guard Luke Wanous. Shaw earned four points, three rebounds, an assist and two steals. -- Micah Bader/Albert Lea Tribune

Tigers slide vs. Huskies

Published 1:56pm Saturday, February 2, 2013

Albert Lea can’t hold on after late Owatonna rally

The Albert Lea boys’ basketball team led at home for a large portion of Friday’s Big Nine Conference matchup against Owatonna, but the Huskies rallied to win 67-57.

After the opening tip, both teams were on fire from the field.

The Tigers made their first three shots, as Miles Erdman, Cody Scherff and Jorge Sena put Albert Lea on the board.

“Both teams shot the ball well at the start,” Albert Lea head coach Lucas Kreuscher said. “We had some open looks and did a good job of knocking them down. I thought there was good flow for us in the first half.”

Dylan See-Rockers of Albert Lea splits defenders on his way to the rim against Owatonna. Rockers earned 10 points, three rebounds, a steal and an assist. -- Micah Bader/Albert Lea Tribune

As for Owatonna, the Huskies made a 3-pointer on the first shot of the game. They continued with three more baskets from long range along with a 15-foot jump shot. At the 14-minute mark, the Huskies had scored 14 points and had yet to miss a shot.

Owatonna led 14-10, but a three-point play by Scherff and a 3-pointer by Sena tied the game (16-16) for the first time since the opening tip.

Another basket by Sena from downtown gave Albert Lea its first lead of the game (19-16).

“Jorge was Jorge,” Kreuscher said. “He brings a lot of energy for us. He can drive. He can shoot the three. He played really well.”

The Tigers extended their lead to five points on a layup by Tyler Shaw. After a 3-pointer by Dylan See-Rockers, Sena scored on a dish from See-Rockers in transition. The basket gave Albert Lea its biggest advantage of the evening (29-22).

Owatonna fought back with a 10-2 run to take a one-point lead, but Erdman scored with 30 seconds left in the first half to send the Tigers into the locker room with a 33-32 lead.

In the second half, Sena and See-Rockers hit 3-pointers to extend Albert Lea’s lead to five points.

However, Owatonna heated up again from beyond the arc to tie the game at 47.

Makael Lunning of Albert Lea shoots the ball against Owatonna. Lunning earned five points, two assists and a steal against the Huskies. -- Micah Bader/Albert Lea Tribune

The Huskies then went on an 11-4 run with the help of two 3-pointers to take a 58-51 lead.

The clock became Albert Lea’s main nemesis, as the Tigers were forced to foul late in the game. Owatonna secured the win at the free-throw line.

Sena led Albert Lea in scoring with 17 points, while Scherff, See-Rockers and Erdman added 10 points each.

Erdman also grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds, earning a double-double.

Albert Lea fell to 9-6 overall, 4-5 in the conference and 3-3 in its section.

Next, the Tigers host Rochester Mayo (2-16) at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday. The Spartans have lost five straight games.