NEW ULM - For the second straight game, the New Ulm boys basketball team built a big lead in the second half, only to see it disappear late.
Jackson Yackley scored early in the second half to give the Eagles a 42-25 lead. But a press by Belle Plaine disrupted the Eagles in the backcourt, forcing turnovers throughout the half. The result was a 74-73 nonconference win for the Tigers.
Aaron Bigaouette led the Tigers with 19 points and Alec Koepp scored 17 points.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
New Ulm’s Grant Kannegiesser attempts a shot between a pair of Belle Plaine defenders during the first half Tuesday at NUHS.
Grant Kannegiesser led New Ulm with 22 points and Tyler Dittrich finished with 13 points.
Unlike on Saturday when the Eagles got a game-winning shot at the buzzer, a last-second shot by Chris Mulder hit the rim as the Eagles saw their record fall to 4-11 this year.
"I just said it was a great effort," New Ulm coach Steve Foley said after the loss. "That's just the way the ball bounces. You hit shots, you don't hit shots. The ball hit the rim at the end there and it was a decent look."
What might have been the biggest disappointment for the Eagles late was that they had a 73-71 lead with 15.6 seconds left in the game. Belle Plaine freshman Luke Narveson had a chance to tie the game at that point, but he missed the first of two free throws.
After a timeout, he made the second free throw to make it 73-72.
As luck would have it for the Tigers, Narveson stole the inbounds pass, went up with the shot and was fouled with 8.7 seconds left. This time, he hit both free throws, giving the Tigers a 74-73 lead with 5.7 seconds remaining.
There, the Eagles got one shot off, with Mulder's shot coming up short as the buzzer sounded.
The game was slowed by fouls as New Ulm had two players foul out in the game.
"I thought it was a pretty competitive game in the first half, I thought both teams were in a rhythm," Foley said. "It was a long second half, I don't know how many fouls there were, but it was hard to get going."
New Ulm is at St. Peter (11-1) Friday.