Entering the Minnesota Class AA Section 6 Boys basketball tournament as the #4 seed, the host Eden Valley-Watkins Eagles ousted the fifth-seeded rival Minnewaska Area Lakers Thursday night, 74-59. The game was a highly competitive battle for the first half, as the Eagles took a slim one-point lead into the break. Coach Adam Langer was pleased with the second-half effort.
“We were up one at halftime. We came out in the second half knowing we had to do a better job rebounding on the defensive end, and limiting our turnovers. We did a much better job with those two aspects of the game in the 2nd half.”
But the Lakers weren’t done, and battled back to make it a game. “They cut it to six, but Brent Stenger and Bret Mattice combined to shoot 10 for 10 from the free-throw line in the last two minutes to seal the victory,” said Coach Langer. The Eagles’ scoring assault came from a six-man attack. Sophomore guard Bret Mattice, 24; senior guard Brent Stenger, 17; sophomore forward Jared Streit, 16; senior guard Alex Geislinger, 9; senior forward Kirby Knutson, 6; senior forward Mitchell Lease, 2. The Eagles advance and face the #1-seeded Litchfield Dragons, Saturday, March 9, at St. John’s University, in a 5:30 p.m. start.
coaches and administrators, both current and former, enjoyed the game and the victory for EV-W.
the 74-59 playoff victory March 7 over Minnewaska by the EV-W boys’ team was the final varsity basketball game to be played in the “old” gym at EV-W High School. The team would lose their next playoff game March 9, to Litchfield, 21-52, so their season is now completed. Staff photos by Jean Doran Matua.