NEW ULM - There's no doubt about it, stopping Sleepy Eye's Brandon Polesky is going to be a tough task for anybody in the Tomahawk Conference this year.
Minnesota Valley Lutheran met the Indians on Tuesday night and escaped with a 64-61 victory over the Indians, but Polesky did everything in his power to keep his team in the game.
Polesky finished with 29 points and seven rebounds, but the Chargers controlled the ball well late in the game and seemed to answer whenever the Indians scored.
Chad Lease led the Chargers with 15 points and Nick Dewanz scored 14.
"Our big concern coming in was their size," Sleepy?Eye coach Brian Polesky said.?"We're not big by any means and they did a nice job of pounding it inside."
Lease hit some big shots at the end, but so did Polesky.
"We came in knowing that he's one guy that likes to shoot and we had to guard him well," Lease said.
MVL coach Craig Morgan said it was tough keeping up with the senior from Sleepy Eye.
"We tried to keep it away from him, but you're not going to be able to do that,"?Morgan said. "He's too quick, he can handle the ball real well, he's just a good all-around ballplayer. We just try to keep him below 30 [points]."
The teams were even throughout the contest. Juan Montemayor's 3-pointer put the Indians up 20-16 with 9:20 left in the first half. Montemayor finished with 12 points.
The momentum shifted back towards MVL's way as the Chargers went on a 12-2 run, highlighted by balanced scoring for the Chargers. Five different players scored during that stretch, showing that the Chargers have a few scoring options of their own when needed.
"The team chemistry during practice is really nice," Lease said.?"It's been awesome this year."
MVL took a 35-33 lead into halftime and the Chargers kept building small leads, but the Indians were there to respond.
Lease's basket put the Chargers ahead 56-49 with 4:30 left in the game. The Indians didn't go away, keeping the game close.
"I credit our guys, there were times when we got down eight or nine, but we kept battling back, making some plays and we gave ourselves a chance," coach Polesky said.
Polesky hit a basket with 23.2 seconds left to cut MVL's lead to 62-651, but a pair of Nate Wong free throws at the end gave MVL a three-point lead. Polesky attempted a 3-pointer with less than five seconds left and Montemayor's rebound and shot from 3-point range also was off.
Sleepy Eye (3-4) hosts Mankato Loyola on Friday and MVL (4-3, 3-1 Tomahawk) is off until the Bethany Luthern College Holiday Tournament on Dec. 26 when the Chargers play Loyola at 6 p.m.