ALHS boys stun Owatonna

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 5, 2001

Early on, the points came easily for the Albert Lea Tigers.

Wednesday, December 05, 2001

Early on, the points came easily for the Albert Lea Tigers.

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They had to work much harder in the waning moments. But it sure was worthwhile.

The Tigers build a big lead but had to hold off Owatonna Tuesday night, surprising the visiting Huskies 57-54 in a Big Nine boys’ basketball game at Albert Lea High School. It left the Tigers 2-0 overall and 1-0 in the conference under first-year head coach Matt Addington.

&uot;This is real big for the program in general for our kids to experience a win like that,&uot; said Addington. &uot;These guys have lost a lot of these, so to win one means a lot. Like I said last week, we’re learning how to win games. It’s probably better to win them like this than to win by 15. It’s not going to get any easier.&uot;

It was almost too easy in the first half. The Tigers were tough defensively and Ben Woodside and Josh Kasper were hot offensively, scoring 10 and nine points, respectively, as the Tigers took a 19-14 lead after one quarter.

Things continued to go the Tigers way until the halftime buzzer, when Kyle Schrad made a leaping save at the baseline and flipped the ball to Tim Benesch, whose last-second shot put Albert Lea up 33-18.

The Tigers led 39-22 midway through the third quarter when the Huskies began their comeback, whittling it to 43-36 entering the fourth and, with 1:57 remaining, pulling within one at 53-52.

Kasper scored on an in-bounds play and and Jordan Skophammer and Woodside added free throws down the stretch. Owatonna was off the mark with a pair of three-point tries in the final seconds.

Woodside led the Tigers with 26 points, four assists and three steals. Kasper and Benesch both had 10 points. Tyler Young had four points and a team-high 10 rebounds. Benesch and Skophammer both grabbed five rebounds.

The Tigers are on the road Friday for a Big Nine game at Mankato West.