Lundberg, defense aid NRHEG

Published 9:00 am Tuesday, March 7, 2017

It is defense that wins games this time of year. For the NRHEG boys’ basketball team, defense is what helped them win an opening-round section game against Blue Earth Area Monday night, 64-30.

NRHEG’s Benji Lundberg spurred a first-half offensive attack by scoring 13 of his game-high 16 points in the opening 18 minutes as the Panthers built a 34-14 advantage at halftime.

NRHEG started the game on a 14-2 run and its defense forced missed shot after missed shot in the opening half.

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“We held them to 14 first-half points and that is something we have stressed all year long, being tough defensively,” Panthers coach Pat Churchill said. “I think that’s something we prided ourselves on.”

In front of a packed house, NRHEG wasted little time in going to work. An offensive board and putback by Tyler Raimann, for two of his 13 points, made it 7-0. Moments later, Lundberg cut to the hoop for a layup.

After Chad Agrimson, who finished with 12 points, hit a three-pointer and Sam Prigge scored inside, Lundberg scored the next nine points on a variety of drives to the basket and a three-pointer.

With the win, NRHEG finishes the season with a perfect 11-0 record at home and will advance to play Maple River on Thursday night.

Tip is set for 7:45 p.m. at Mankato East High School.