Eagles win ninth straight to improve to 13-2 overall
By Chad Koenen
New York Mills’ tremendous late season run continued last week as the Eagles won its ninth straight game, and in the process, secured the Park Region Conference championship. The Eagles avenged their only loss in the conference this season, a 59-55 loss to Wadena-Deer Creek on Jan. 29, with a commanding 81-49 win on Tuesday night, before clinching the conference title with a 74-54 win over Menahga on Friday.
The Eagles, who are 13-2 on the season and ranked fourth in the QRF, will wrap up their season this week with a pair of PRC games against Pillager and Bertha-Hewitt on Monday and Friday, before traveling to Battle Lake on Saturday to take on the Battlers in non-conference action.
The sub section tournament will begin on March 15 with the pig tail games, before the remaining Section 6A teams hit the court for the first time on March 18. The Eagles are currently in second place in the sub section, behind just top ranked Mahnomen-Waubun and will open the playoffs at home on March 18.
The section tournament will be a bit different from years past as the higher seeded team will host all of the games through the section championship. The section championship game will be held on March 26 at a yet-to-be-determined location.
NY Mills avenged its only PRC loss this season with a commanding 81-49 win over Wadena-Deer Creek on the road. The Eagles led by a 40-23 margin at halftime and left little doubt about the outcome as they went on to outscore the Wolverines by a 41-26 margin in the final 18 minutes of action.
Head coach Jason Boe said the Eagles set the tone on the defensive end of the court and were better prepared for the Wolverines zone defense this time around.
“It was a game we had been looking forward to since they beat us earlier in the year,” said Boe. “We set the tone early with our defensive pressure and we were much better prepared against their zone defense. We attacked it from various angles which gave us better looks at the basket. It was a good team win. We had 22 assists as a team.”
Tate Olson led a balanced scoring attack as the junior scored 23 points to go along with 4 rebounds and 4 steals. Jonah Johnson and Derin Gaudette also reached double-figures with Johnson finishing with 12 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists, and Gaudette scoring 11 points, 3 steals and 2 rebounds.
Also scoring for the Eagles was Breck Hensch with 9 points, 4 assists and 2 steals; Noah Noffsinger 7 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists; Isaiah Laudenbach 7 points, 2 assists and 2 steals; Jace Rudolph 4 points and 2 assists; Chase Keskitalo 4 points, 1 rebound and 1 block and Trey Gilster 4 points, 3 steals and 2 rebounds.
The Eagles secured the PRC title in dominating fashion on Friday night as they defeated Menahga by a score of 74-54 on the road. Head coach Jason Boe said the conference title was one of NY Mills’ preseason goals and it was nice to check that goal off its list heading into the final week of action.
“The win secured the conference for us. We’re very proud of our boys for achieving this pre-season goal. It’s been a long time since our program won the PRC.head coach Jason Boe
The Eagles led by single digits at halftime, by a 40-33 margin, but turned up the defensive pressure in the second half as they held the Braves to just 21 points in the final 18 minutes of action.
Tate Olson once again led the way offensively as he recorded a double-double with 35 points, 14 rebounds and 3 assists. Derin Gaudette also reached double-figures with 10 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists.
Also scoring for the Eagles was Jonah Johnson with 8 points and 4 rebounds; Isaiah Laudenbach 7 points, 4 rebounds and 2 steals; Breck Hensch 5 points, 3 steals and 2 assists; Jace Rudolph 4 points, 4 steals and 1 rebound; Noah Noffsinger 3 points and Chase Keskitalo 2 points and 3 rebounds.