NYM to host state ranked Henning on Friday night

By Chad Koenen


While most area teams took an extended break from action over the Christmas and New Years break, the New York Mills Eagles took to the court to participate in the Pelican Rapids tournament from Dec. 28-29. 

Even though NY Mills lost both of their games, the team gained a fair amount of valuable experience that translated into two of their best games in the conference so far this season when they returned to their Park Region Conference schedule last week.

In the opening round of the Pelican Rapids tournament, the Eagles fell to the host Vikings’ team by a score of 74-49. Despite the final score, head coach Mike Baune said the Eagles played one of their best halves of basketball of the season and were down just 8 points at halftime. 

The Vikings came storming back in the second half to push the deficit into the high teams within the last 10 minutes of the game, but Baune said he was proud of the way the Eagles competed and knocked down shots. As a team NY Mills shot 58 percent from the field.

Hunter Holtti and Sam Kopveiler led the way offensively with 11 points apiece, while Brayden Ehnert chipped in with 9 points of his own. 

In the third place game of the tournament, the Eagles fell to a tough Battle Lake Battlers team by a score of 69-25. 

Baune said the Battlers were able to suffocate gaps and challenged the Eagles to go through them to score, which was made difficult by Battle Lake’s overall size and length. While NY Mills scored a season low 25 points, they also posted a season low 18 turnovers in the game.

NY Mills was led offensively by Teagan Lausten who scored 12 points. 

The Eagles got back into their conference schedule on Tuesday when they hosted Wadena-Deer Creek. NY Mills dropped the game by a score of 74-52, but Baune said there were a number of positive things to take away from the game. 

“We scored a season high 52 points and made seven 3-pointers,” said Baune. “We battled hard with a triangle and two defense on WDC’s best players which was extremely effective for long amounts of time, but WDC just had too many other good players and eventually overcame our solid defense.”

Kopveiler led the team in scoring with 17 points to go along with 8 rebounds. Ehnert scored 8 points to go along with 7 rebounds and 4 assists, while Lausten chipped in with 8 points and Finn Roder added 7 points of his own. 

In their final game of the week last week, the Eagles fell to Pillager by a score of 46-38. It was the closest final score of the season for NY Mills who once again battled a tough zone defense.

“I was impressed with our communication in our 3-2 zone defense as well as the physicality the boys played with against a much larger opponent. Nobody budged an inch. Unfortunately, we just couldn’t make very many shots even with a large amount of open looks on the night and that was the difference,” said Baune. 

Kopveiler led the team in scoring once again with 15 points to go along with 6 rebounds. Ehnert added 8 points and 7 rebounds, while Holtti scored 6 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists.