NRHEG rallies past Mankato Loyola

Published 2:08pm Saturday, December 7, 2013

The New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva boys’ basketball team kepts its perfect record intact Friday at the Mankato Loyola basketball tournament with a 70-65 win over Mankato Loyola.

The Panthers (2-0 overall, 0-0 Gopher Conference) jumped out to a 19-7 lead, but the Crusaders fought back to tie the game at 26 at halftime. Mankato Loyola continued its run by taking a 10-point lead with 11 minutes left in regulation, said NRHEG head coach Pat Churchill. The Panthers rallied to take the lead at about the 3-minute mark and held on for the win.

Kevin Kalis earned a double-double for NRHEG with 30 points and 11 rebounds. Spencer Tollefson added 25 points and seven rebounds. The duo combined for 79 percent of the Panthers’ offensive production, but Churchill said the other 21 percent was crucial as well.

“We had some players step up tonight and help us get the victory,” he said. “Ryan Patraw came in and played defense on Carson Seifert, and Trevor Tracy hit two big shots in the second half when we were down to get us out of the little funk we were in.”

Tracy had eight points, and Partaw added two. Oakley Baker scored five points. Seifert and Reilly Knutson scored a combined 36 points to lead Mankato Loyola.

“It was a great win for us over a pretty good team,” Churchill said.

Headed into the game, both teams were 1-0. NRHEG throttled Cleveland 72-28 on Tuesday and Mankato Loyola beat New Ulm Cathedral 62-53 on Nov. 25.

With the win, the Panthers advanced to the tournament championship against St. Peter Saturday. Look for the score in Monday’s Tribune. Next, NRHEG hosts Bethlehem Academy (0-1 overall, 0-0 Gopher Conference) at 7:15 p.m. Friday.