Albert Lea edged by No. 8 Red Wing

Published 3:39 am Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The woes of the Albert Lea boys’ basketball team nearly ended against the No. 8 team in the Dec. 2 edition of the Class AAA Minnesota Basketball News polls.

Red Wing (6-0, 5-0 Big Nine) entered the game after beating all five of its previous opponents by double digits.

Albert Lea (0-4, 0-4 Big Nine) hadn’t won a game since Jan. 31, 2014.

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However, the Tigers gave the Wingers all they could handle.

Three Albert Lea players scored in double figures, but Red Wing edged the Tigers 66-63 Tuesday at Red Wing.

“It came down to the last possession,” said Albert Lea coach Stan Thompson. “We had four shots to tie it at the end. On the last one, we jumped off the bench because we thought it was in, but then it rimmed out.”

Albert Lea’s Jake Kilby scored a team-high 22 points and added nine rebounds, three steals and two assists. Teammate Jake Thompson led the Tigers with seven assists to go with 15 points.

Denzel Acha, one of three seniors on the team who weren’t on the team last year, scored 13 points and grabbed nine boards.

“Denzel was a beast in the middle tonight,” Stan Thompson said. “I challenged him at the beginning of the game. We’ve seen progress every game.”

Next, the Tigers host Faribault (1-3, 1-2 Big Nine) at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. The Falcons are coming off a 71-51 loss Tuesday at Waconia. Faribault’s lone win was 67-59 Dec. 4 at Rochester Century (0-5, 0-3 Big Nine).