NRHEG holds off Loyola Catholic

Published 2:50 am Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva boys’ basketball team took down Loyola Catholic 77-71 in non-conference action at Mankato on Monday.

“This was a fast-paced game that was close throughout,” NRHEG head coach Pat Churchill said. “Both teams shot the ball really well tonight, and that puts a lot of pressure on both defenses.”

The Panthers outscored the Crusaders by three points in each half to earn the six-point win.

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NRHEG held a 40-37 advantage at the half.

The Panthers were led by 6-foot-5-inch center Kevin Kallis. He earned a team-high 24 points on 11-of-18 shooting, along with eight rebounds.

“We got a lot of production from Kevin,” Churchill said. “They didn’t have a guy who could guard him in the post.”

Five other Panthers scored nine or more points.

Nic Mangskau scored 13 points, Spencer Tollefsno and Oakley baker had 10, while Macoy Schwierjohan and Trevor Tracy added nine.

“We had good balance again outside of Kevin,” Churchill said. “It’s nice to see a bunch of guys get points. It makes us tougher to guard.”

Leading the Crusaders on the offensive side of the court was Carson Siefert. He scored a game-high 30 points.

“When we would get up on him, he drove around us; and when we backed off, he hit open 3-pointers,” Churchill said. “It was a nice game for him.”

The Panthers improve to 6-18 overall, 3-11 in the Gopher Conference and 0-9 in Section 2AA. NRHEG is 2-3 in its past five games.

“We feel like we are getting closer to where we want to be,” Churchill said. “We realize that it doesn’t show in the wins and loses but we are getting better.”

Loyola Catholic fell to 12-14 overall, 7-3 in the Valley Conference and 10-2 in Section 2A.

Next, the Panthers play their regular-season finale at Tri-City United at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday.