ALHS basketball boys lose by 3

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 21, 2003

Less than 2 seconds remained when Tom Munden squared himself to the basket and released a three-point shot.

It just missed.

It was the story of the night for the Albert Lea Tigers, who were frustratingly close while falling 52-49 to Rochester Mayo in a Big Nine Conference boys’ basketball game at Albert Lea High School Thursday night.

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&uot;I’m so proud of our effort,&uot; said ALHS coach Matt Addington, whose squad fell to 5-11 in the Big Nine and 10-11 overall. &uot;We played real hard.&uot;

The Spartans, 8-6 and 11-8, essentially won it at the free-throw line, where they were 10-for-13 while the Tigers went 1-for-3.

The Tigers led 14-12 at the end of the first quarter, though it could have been more if not for some missed shots from point-blank range. Mayo was up 28-26 at halftime and Albert Lea took a 40-39 edge into the fourth.

A key stretch, according to Addington, came with Mayo ahead 46-42.

&uot;They held the ball for about 1:30, then got a bucket at the end of it,&uot; said Addington. &uot;That demoralizes a defense.&uot;

But the Tigers battled back, pulling within 50-49 on a basket by Mike Behrends with 40 seconds left.

Behrends and Tyler Young combined on a block on Mayo’s next possession, but the Tigers turned it over with 17 seconds left. The Spartans made a pair of free throws and, two time outs later, the Tigers set up for their final chance with 4.8 seconds left.

&uot;At the end, we had a great look at the basket to tie it,&uot; said Addington.

The Tigers’ statistical leaders: Ben Woodside 15 points, three assists; Behrends 10 points, six rebounds; Young eight points, 12 rebounds; Munden eight points; Stephen Thorn four rebounds; Ryan Moore four steals.

Ross Habben and Marcus Thorstad again made key contributions off the bench.

The Tigers return to action tonight at Winona.