Early turnovers transform to big deficit for Albert Lea

Published 7:38 am Friday, January 9, 2009

The turnovers mounted in the first half for the Albert Lea boys’ basketball team Thursday night against New Prague in Albert Lea and as they did they proved costly.

The Tigers (1-8, 0-3) had 15 turnovers in the first half and they led to 12 points for the Trojans (7-2) as New Prague put the game out of reach early.

The Trojans started the game with a 19-4 built on transition buckets and 3-pointers as each turnover put Albert Lea in a bigger hole.

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“I think our concentration in the first half was lacking,” said Tigers head coach Chad Feikema. “We did not do a very good job of executing what we wanted to do offensively. Our spacing was not very good. We ended up throwing some longer passes which led to those 15 turnovers in the first half.”

New Prague built a 30-point lead by halftime as the Trojans ended the half on a 19-3 run.

“Fifteen turnovers is unacceptable,” Feikema said. “We can’t do that and expect to have a chance.”

New Prague proved a difficult team to handle with 6-foot-9 Isaac Cross grabbing rebounds and second chance points while Conner O’Brien and Danny Geiger hit shots from the perimeter.

O’Brien led all scorers with 19 points and Geiger added 17 points to lead New Prague. The Trojans shot a staggering 56 percent from the field as they went 27-for-48.

Albert Lea’s shooting was off throughout the first half as the Tigers shot 5-for-20 from the field.

“We have to get close to perfect in terms of how we execute our offense,” Feikema said. “Just because teams are going to be bigger and they’re going to be quicker than us. We’ve got to be able to take care of the ball and pay attention to the details.”

Things got better in the second half, but by then it was too late. Albert Lea was outscored by six points in the second half and only committed six turnovers. New Prague scored just three points off the six turnovers.

“We played much better in the second half,” Feikema said.

The Tigers shot 10-for-21 from the field in the second half, but still finished shooting 36 percent from the field.

The spacing improved for Albert Lea and the Tigers got more looks closer to the basket which helped.

Colby Strilaeff led the team with 12 points, hitting four shots from behind the 3-point line. Sean Templeman added nine points as well, scoring five in the first and four in the second half.

The Tigers face Winona next Friday.

New Prague 76, Albert Lea 40

New Prague 42 34 — 76

Albert Lea 12 28 — 40

New Prague scoring: Connor O’Brien 19, Danny Geiger 17, Alex Dittberner 10, Isaac Cross 8, Cale Girten 5, Chase Buthe 4, Jed Kreuser 3, Sam Dittberner 2, Scott Jensen 2, Josiah Nunemaker 2, Kale Seifert 2.

Albert Lea scoring: Colby Strilaeff 12, Sean Templeman 9, Hector Rivera 5, Josh Eisenbraun 4, Alik Smed 3, Aaron Klatt 2, Brandon Antl 2, Damian Montes 2, Nate Harris 1.