Panthers down Cardinals

Published 10:38 am Saturday, February 18, 2017

The NRHEG boys’ basketball team added its 21st win to its overall record Friday night.

The Panthers took on the Redwood Valley Cardinals and used a 43-point second half to distance themselves for a 79-61 win to move to 21-2 on the season.

Benji Lundberg led the Panthers with 22 points, but it was the Cardinals who came out firing on all cylinders.

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Redwood Valley found itself up 10 points with 10 minutes remaining in the first half. Redwood Valley’s James Pendleton, who finished with 22 points, got off to a hot start.

“We really struggled to contain (Pendleton),” Panthers coach Pat Churchill said.

Pendleton’s teammate, Mitchel Irlbeck, who scored 19 points in the game, was also giving NRHEG fits in the first half.

“(Lundberg) kept us in the game in the first half with 17 points,” Churchill said. “We started to get some stops on defense and (Jason Jongbloedt) hit a three at the buzzer to give us a one-point lead at halftime.”

Jongbloedt’s shot seemed to spark the Panthers in the second half.

Tyler Raimann (14 points) and Oakley Baker (11 points) found their rhythm and NRHEG was able to build a double-digit lead in the opening minutes of the second half.

The Panthers would never look back.

Jongbloedt’s 12 points joined Lundberg, Baker and Raimann in double figures.

NRHEG will play at home against Maple River on Monday.