Minneapolis’ Nolan White would not be denied on Thursday night in Ellsworth.
The Lions’ senior hit five 3-pointers and was a perfect 7-7 from the free-throw line to help lead Minneapolis to a 64-48 win over Ellsworth.
Both teams struggled to stop one another in the first quarter as Ellsworth grabbed the lead early on. However, White and Spencer Davidson got going for Minneapolis to lead the Lions to a 19-16 lead after one.
In the second quarter, both teams’ defenses showed up as both went through some scoring droughts for the duration of the period. After numerous tie scores, Minneapolis would end the second quarter on a 5-0 run, led by one of White’s 3’s and a Daniel Watson layup at the buzzer. This propelled the Lions to lead 32-27 at the break.
In the first meeting between Ellsworth and Minneapolis, the Lions ended the third quarter on a 14-0 run to end up winning by 13 over the Bearcats. In the second game on Thursday, the third quarter once again proved pivotal for MHS, as the Lions nailed four 3’s in the period–three more from White and one from Davidson. Still, Avery Haxton of Ellsworth, continued to keep the Cats in the game. However, Minneapolis was too much in the period and led 49-39 going in to the final quarter.
Neither team scored much in the first five minutes of the final quarter. Ellsworth utilized some Minneapolis miscues to pull the lead to 49-43 with 3:28 remaining.
The seniors of Minneapolis would pull the Lions through, as both White and Davidson made big and-one buckets, and Trent Moeckel went 4-5 from the foul line to pull away.
Ellsworth (9-5, 3-4 NCAA) didn’t have many answers for Minneapolis on the defensive end. Haxton led the Bearcats with 22 points, while Braden Schulte chipped in with 16 points.
Minneapolis (11-5, 4-2 NCAA) wins their sixth-straight over the Bearcats and sweeps the season series for the third straight year. Davidson had another double-double, including 17 points and the H&R “Block of the Game” for Minneapolis.
However, the Nex-Tech Wireless “Player of the Game” is White with a career-high 28 points on Thursday night.
Up next, both Minneapolis girls and boys teams host Beloit on Friday night for senior night and a chance to sweep the rival, Trojans in 2021. Live coverage starts at 5:45 p.m. on 92.7 The New Zoo.