Alexandria boys' basketball: Cards searching for consistencyThe Alexandria obys couldn't find enough offense in a one-point loss to the Otters
By: Eric Morken, Alexandria Echo Press
The Cardinal boys’ basketball team was left lamenting a few missed opportunities that could have turned the tide in a back-and-forth game that ended with Fergus Falls heading home with a 52-51 win on Tuesday night.
The Otters trailed 36-32 in the second half before a nine-point run gave them a five-point lead that they never relinquished. Alexandria clawed its way within a point, but the Cardinals couldn’t fully take advantage of seven missed free throws by Fergus Falls down the stretch.
“Aside from a few key breakdowns, we played pretty well defensively,” Alexandria head coach Forrest Witt said. “But we struggled to get into a rhythm offensively and knock down some open looks. We have several players that are new to playing big minutes at the varsity level so there are going to be some growing pains. They just need to continue to work through that and challenge themselves to compete on every possession.”
This game was set up to be decided by just a few possessions from the get-go. Neither team could gain much separation throughout the night as Fergus Falls took a three-point lead into the break. Each team answered runs by the other team with a run of its own to keep things close.
The Otters’ Mike Millard made sure his team had a little bit more in the end. Millard finished with a game-high 23 points to go along with 10 rebounds. Austin Rund added six points and seven rebounds and freshman Isaiah Lemke finished with six points and four assists.
That was a little bit more depth than Alexandria could put together. The Cardinals had just six players score as Logan Doyle led the way with 16 points on 7-of-12 shooting. He added a game-high 14 rebounds to complete the double-double. Ted Deitz was efficient as well, scoring 15 on 6-of-9 shooting. Joe Gorghuber and David Krivanek added eight points apiece.
“We feel like our guys will continue to develop and become more comfortable in their roles and understanding of their strengths and how to utilize that for our team,” Witt said. “The more these guys play together, we should begin to see more continuity and know what to expect from each other.”
The Cardinals hope some added experience will lead to more confidence on the court, and in turn, an ability to knock down more shots. Alexandria shot almost 49 percent (19-of-39) from inside the arc but hit just 2-of-11 shots from three. They also struggled from the free-throw line, where they went just 7-of-18.
The Cardinals will have an opportunity to put the loss to the Otters behind them with two more games at home this week. They were scheduled to welcome in Sartell-St. Stephen (1-2) last night, Thursday, before a 3-1 New Prague team comes to Alexandria for a 7:30 tipoff on Friday night.
“We will be a competitive team if these guys continue to compete and push each other to improve,” Witt said. “We need guys to step up and become consistent day to day in all facets of the game.”
FERGUS FALLS 26 26 – 52
ALEXANDRIA 23 28 – 51
TOTALS – Alexandria – FG – 21-50; Three-point FG – 2-11; Free throws – 7-18; Assists – 12; Blocks – 4; Rebounds – 35; Steals – 6; Turnovers – 15
ALEXANDRIA – Kevin Setterstrom – 2 points, 1 rebound; Brandon Bistodeau – 2 assists, 1 rebound, 1 steal; Gorghuber – 8 points, 3 assists, 2 rebounds, 1 steal; Travis Krueger – 2 points, 2 assists, 4 rebounds, 2 steals; Krivanek – 8 points, 3 assists, 7 rebounds; Doyle – 16 points, 14 rebounds, 4 blocks; Deitz – 15 points, 2 assists, 6 rebounds, 2 steals