By gary larson
Mille Lacs County Times
Albany got off to a fast start and kept rolling as it topped Milaca 69-37 in a non-conference boys basketball game Thursday, Feb. 2, at Albany.
The Huskies, who will join Milaca in the Granite Ridge Conference next year, led 41-22 at halftime before outscoring Milaca 28-15 in the second half.
“We were not ready to play,” said Milaca Coach Dustin Naumann. “We talked about being ready for physical play and how we need to move offensively, but we didn’t do anything we talked about.
“I take it upon myself to get the guys ready for a game and by their performance, I did a sub-standard job. I give credit to Albany – they got numerous open looks in the paint and capitalized on them.”
The Huskies, who won their fourth game in a row to push their record to 9-7, made 24 of 37 shots (64.5 percent) from inside the three three-point line and held a 40-21 edge in rebounds.
“They played with a lot of confidence – we just couldn’t get anything going,” said Naumann.
Senior guard Brandon Kiel led Milaca with 13 points while sophomore forward Justin Fransen scored seven points.
Senior guard Tony Harlander paced Albany with 16 points. The Huskies had 11 players break into the scoring column.
Milaca hosts Little Falls in a Granite Ridge Conference game tonight (Thursday), then hosts Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted in a non-conference game Saturday afternoon at 2:30 as part of a girls/boys doubleheader.
Little Falls is 5-2 in GRC play and 13-5 overall while Howard Lake-Waverly is 14-4.
“We have some very tough games coming up,” said Naumann. “Both teams have very good records and both like to play the same style of game, very physical defense with a transition-based offense.
“They both look for quick baskets and do a very good job pressuring the basketball. We need to be ready for their styles of play and get our own rhythm to the game going.”