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Paynesville Press - December 28, 2005

Cats stay unbeaten with victory over Dogs

By Michael Jacobson

The New London-Spicer Wildcats used a high-scoring first half to stay unbeaten by defeating the Bulldogs boys' basketball team 80-59 on Tuesday, Dec. 20.

The Cats (4-0 overall, 2-0 in the West Central Conference North) scored 54 points in the first half, building a 22-point lead over the Dogs. The Cats made five three-pointers in the first half, led by Todd Herman and Nick Carlson. Herman scored 19 points in the first half, including a trey, and Carlson added 12 points, including two treys.

Junior Cory Nietfeld led the Dogs with 23 points, including 17 in the first half. He scored the Dogs' final eight points of the first half.

The Dogs outscored the Cats in the second half, which saw both teams play their entire roster. Senior Matt Mergen led the Dogs with 11 points in the second half, a varsity career high, including three three-pointers.

The Dogs had 50 rebounds, led by Nietfeld with 16, but they also shot only 41 percent from the floor (23 of 56), only 43 percent from the free throw line (nine of 21), and committed 29 turnovers.

"We were excited about the game and thought we would have a shot at them," said coach Phil Carlson. "We did not execute the way we needed and had too many team mistakes to give ourselves a chance to defeat NL-S. We did not move the ball the way we wanted, and we were not in the correct positions at the right times. NL-S played very well, and they deserve much credit in this."

Another highlight for the Dogs was 6' 8" senior center Harrison Fangmeier having five blocked shots in the second half.

The Wildcats moved to the WCC North this year from the WCC South, but they are a familiar nonconference and section rival of the Dogs.

The Dogs (2-4 overall, 0-2 in the WCC North) do not play again until January. "We now have a few days off and need to come back ready for some improved team basketball," said Carlson. "We need a physically strong team effort from all. As the coach, I want to see our team play together better and when we do this I know we will improve."

Next week, the Dogs resume their winter schedule with a game against Melrose, the defending conference champion, on Tuesday, Jan. 3. Then they will play at St. Cloud Cathedral on Thursday, Jan. 5.

Paynesville--32 27 - 59
New London-Spicer--54 26 - 80

Paynesville 59 - Cory Nietfeld 10-3/6-23; Matt Mergen 4-0/0-11; Derek Stanger 2-4/6-8; Trent Hansen 2-1/2-5; Aaron Braun 2-0/2-4; Ted Hoffman 1-0/1-3; Ben Moser 1-0/0-2; Elliott Wall 1-0/0-2; Nathan Nietfeld 0-1/2-1; TOTALS: FG 23/56, FT 9/21, 3's 4.

New London-Spicer 80 - Todd Herman 11-0/0-23; Nick Carlson 6-0/0-15; Brain Pieh 3-4/4-11; Justin Haats 3-3/7-9; Wade Wessling 3-0/0-6; Mike Danielson 2-1/1-5; Tim Dreier 1-0/0-3; Josh Eliason 1-0/0-2; Jacob Reiter 1-0/0-2; Ben Sletta 1-0/0-2; Sam Steffl 1-0/0-2; TOTALS: FG 33, FT 8/12, 3's 6.

STATISTICS: 3-pointers - 4 Mergen 11; Hoffman 1; Rebounds - 50 Cory Nietfeld 16; Moser 8; Sam Bayer 6; Assists - 11 Cory Nietfeld 3; Steals - 8 Trent Hansen 2; Cory Nietfeld 2; Blocks - 9 Harrison Fangmeier 5; Cory Nietfeld 2.

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