The Minneapolis boys basketball team bounced back with a road win at Valley Heights 73-51 on Tuesday night.
After turning the ball over 24 times against Southeast of Saline on Monday, the Minneapolis offense continued to make the mistakes early on against Valley Heights as the Lions were plagued by nine first quarter turnovers.
Still, Minneapolis had the lead, 14-13 after one.
Minneapolis ratcheted up the defense in the second quarter, holding the Mustangs to just five points in the period. While MHS still wasn’t firing on all cylendars offensively, Jonah Ausherman helped give Minneapolis a 28-18 halftime advantage as the Lions’ senior was a beast of the glass leading to easy buckets.
After a game-in-a-half of struggling to score, the Minneapolis offense finally broke out of the doldrums in the third stanza. Both Nolan White and Kaden Griffin came alive in the period as they combined for three three-point makes. That began to open up easier looks for Spencer Davidson inside, as the Lions’ post ate up the interior of the Valley Heights defense in the third quarter.
Meanwhile, Valley Heights began to wear down with the constant defensive pressure that the Lions asserted all night. Cameron Beardsley kept the Mustangs in the game with tough driving buckets throughout the night, but no other Valley Heights player was able to step up.
After three, Minneapolis had pushed the lead to 23, at 53-30. MHS cruised in the fourth to take home the non-league win.
Valley Heights (3-5) scored just 17 points between the second and third quarters. Beardsley led the way with 16 points and Bryson Kenworthy added in 10.
Minneapolis (7-2) had a balanced scoring attack as the Lions had four players register double-figures. White once again led the way with 15 points, Davidson had 14 points, as did Griffin, who had a double-double with over 10 rebounds on Tuesday. Ausherman scored 12 points in the win.
The win for 3A No. 8 Minneapolis sets up a gigantic rivalry showdown with 3A No. 6 Beloit on Friday.
Valley Heights Girls 47, MINNEAPOLIS 33
The final score didn’t indicate how much Minneapolis made the 2A top 10 ranked Valley Heights squad sweat on Tuesday evening.
Minneapolis used its defense and timely shooting to lead the Mustangs for three full quarters. Kersti Nelson and Zoie Shupe would team up to put the Lady Lions ahead early as they led 12-10 after one.
Minneapolis was able to keep Valley Heights at arm’s-length for the next two quarters. MHS led 20-14 at halftime–its largest lead on the game–and 30-29 at the end of the third quarter.
Unfortunately, Minneapolis went cold in the period, as the Lady Lions wouldn’t score its first points until under one minute to play. Meanwhile, Valley Heights finally shook off a dreadful shooting night to secure the win.
Valley Heights (7-1) had a balanced scoring effort with two in double-figures, but three other players just outside. Cat Toerber scored 15 points to lead all scorers, while Emma Toerber finished with 10 points in the win.
Minneapolis (2-7) didn’t have enough fire power inside to keep up with the length of Valley Heights. Nelson scored 13 points in the loss.
Up next, both Minneapolis teams travel to Beloit to challenge the Trojans on Friday. Pregame on Salina radio station, 92.7 The New Zoo, starts at 5:45 p.m.