Milaca’s boys basketball team lost a pair of Granite Ridge Conference games last week, losing at Becker 75-54 Tuesday, Dec. 10, before falling at home to Zimmerman 52-49 Friday night.
“It was a tough week with two losses, and the three-point loss to Zimmerman especially stings,” said Milaca Coach Dustin Naumann. “But, we can work on the mistakes we made before we go into the St. John’s Prep Tournament.”
The Wolves begin play in the eight-team SJP tourney at Collegeville tonight (Thursday) against Eden Valley-Watkins at 8, in the Palaestra (Sexton Arena. Rush City meets Browerville in a quarterfinal game at 6:30 tonight, also at Sexton Arena.
Other quarterfinal games tonight have St. Cloud Christian School meeting Onamia at 6 and Carlton facing St. John’s Prep at 7:30 in the old gym (Guild Hall).
Play continues Friday with the semifinals at the Palaestra at 6:30 and 8 and the consolation semifinals at the old gym at 6 and 7:30. If Milaca defeats EV-W it will face the winner of the Rush City-Browerville game at 6:30. If the Wolves lose their first game they will face the loser of the Rush City-Browerville game at 6.
The third-place game in the tournament is Saturday at 6:30, with the title game at 8. Those games are at the Palaestra. The seventh-place game is Saturday at 1 at the old gym, with the fifth-place game at 2:30, also at the old gym.
Junior forward Mike Garber had 12 points and eight rebounds against Becker while senior guard Trevor Roelofs had 10 points and six rebounds. Senior guard Cam Sundberg had eight points while junior guard Levi Hunt had seven points, senior center Matt VanSomeren had six and junior forward Nic Wolbert scored four.
“We talked about how physical Becker was going to be but we still weren’t ready for it at game time,” said Naumann. “We were only down 34-31 at halftime, but the second half was a different story.
“Becker scored a lot of second-chance points while we missed a lot of second-chance tries. We didn’t shoot well and Becker did.”
Garber had 10 points and seven rebounds against Becker while Roelofs had 10 points and four steals and senior guard Justin Fransen had nine points and senior guard Brian Kiel scored eight.
Zimmerman senior guard Max McNulty’s three-pointer with five seconds left broke a 49-49 tie.
“We played a good first half but made a couple mistakes that Zimmerman turned into points near the end of the half,” said Naumann. “When you get a team to turn the ball over 21 times like Zimmerman did you should be able to turn that into fast-break points, but we just couldn’t execute.”
The loss to Zimmerman dropped the Wolves to a 2-3 overall record, 1-3 in Granite Ridge games.