NEW ULM - By the time that Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial got into double figures when Nick Thul's basket upped its total to 11 points, the New Ulm Eagles had already put up 24 points.
In a dominating first half that saw the Eagles take a commanding 41-21 halftime lead in which eight different New Ulm player scored, the Eagles used that to come away with a 73-52 win over the Knights Monday night in non-conference boys basketball.
Tanner Ogren paced four Eagles in double figures with 15 points. Jackson Yackley and Grant Kannegiesser each ended with 13 points while Nate Glaubitz contributed 12.
Michael Coates led LCWM with 13 points.
For the Eagles, it was a case of coming out with a burr under their saddle.
"The kids came out with tremendous focus and intensity," said coach Steve Foley. "We were hot - we were pushing the ball, we were attacking the rim. That let us get a nice lead before half."
That nice lead began when the Eagles, who host Delano Wednesday afternoon at 1:30, jumped to a 16-5 lead. Baskets from Yackley and Ogren moved the Eagles out to a 12-3 lead before Ogren and Matt Rowley canned jumpers for a 16-5 lead.
That margin increased to 22-7 thanks to two baskets from Tanner Zupfer and a Kannegiesser putback for a 15-point lead with 8:06 left in the first half.
"We were patient on offense and we moved the ball well," said Foley. "We were able to find the open shooter - we did a tremendous job."
New Ulm also did a great job on defense, forcing seven Knights' turnovers in the first 11 minutes.
Add to that poor shooting (4-of-12 in that same span) and the Eagles were well on their way.
An Ogren rebound basket and a 3-pointer courtesy of Zupfer upped the Eagles' lead to 35-17 with two minutes left in the first half.
"It was also a first half where the Eagles' defense also limited the scoring of the Knights' Bryson Yackel (five first half points) and Michael Coates (six total points in the first half).
"We tried to make someone else beat us," Foley said.
The Eagles built up a 45-28 lead early in the second half and held a 52-32 lead at the 11:23 mark on a conventional three-point play from Kannegiesser.
And the Eagle defense remained solid on LCWM's two top scorers.
Foley praised the play on defense of Tanner Kluis who was assigned to Yackel.
"He averages almost 20 points a game and Tanner held him to 11 points," said Foley. "And four of those points came from free throws. And Grant did a great job on Coates."
New Ulm, now 1-1, focuses on Delano in a rare afternoon contest on Wednesday. It is a match-up that Foley is looking forward to.
"After the effort that we showed tonight I am real excited to play Delano," he said.
New Ulm lost the B-squad game 42-27 but won the C-squad game 40-35.