TRIMONT - Martin County West power forward Austin Krumwiede and his Maverick teammates got off to a slow start during Saturday night's basketball tipoff in Trimont.
Trent Stensland generated five of his co-game-leading 18 points to ignite Granada-Huntley-East Chain's initial 7-0 lead before the hometown Mavericks began to click on all cylinders.
Krumwiede delivered 17 points to complement a game-best 17 rebounds, while Cordell Weber tallied 18 points to steer the Mavericks' 57-45 victory over the visiting Mustangs.
"Our defense played well after giving up seven unanswered points to start the game," said Martin County West mentor Cliff Anderson. "Offensively, we did a good job of working the ball inside (the lane). Once we established that, we were able to kick it outside."
The Mavericks' pound-the-paint strategy also paid dividends in reaching the free throw line 32 times compared to just 14 for the Mustangs. MCW made 17 charity tosses, while GHEC sank eight.
Trailing 10-6 midway through the opening half, Weber slashed through traffic to toss in a runner to trigger the Mavericks' ensuing 12-0 surge and establish a lead they would not relinquish.
Kyle Brolsma hit a low-post turnaround off of one of Mitch Sitzmann's game-high five assists to knot the game at 10-all before Alex Biehn sank a solo free throw. Weber and Sitzmann created backcourt havoc with their defensive pressure to produce two of Sitzmann's six steals and a 7-0 offensive run by Weber for an 18-10 lead.
Konnor Kristenson sank a low-post leaner to halt the Mavericks' run before the Mustang forward converted a traditional 3-point play off an assist from Josh Johansen to later narrow GHEC's gap to five.
Jake Sinn and Krumwiede later combined for three free throws to rebuild MCW's margin to 25-17 by intermission.
"You have to give them (Mustangs) credit for putting a halfcourt trap on us in the second half to make a nice comeback," said Anderson.
With Krumwiede dominating the glass and Weber sinking shots inside and outside, the Mavericks extended their lead to 40-25 before the Mustangs' defense and boardwork triggered a late comeback.
Johansen and freshman wing Josh Wolter nailed back-to-back treys before Stensland delivered two more traditional 3-point plays to whittle MCW's lead to six with five minutes remaining in regulation.
Anderson called timeout to regroup his troops and the Mavericks got the basketball in Krumwiede's capable hands down the stretch. Krumwiede, who was limited to four first-half points, scored eight of his team's final nine points to close out the victory.
Johansen scored nine points for the Mustangs, while Kristenson chipped in eight points.
Martin County West (1-0) travels to St. Clair on Tuesday night, while Granada-Huntley-East Chain (0-1) plays host to Jackson County Central tonight at East Chain School.
Kristenson 3-6 3-3 8, Stensland 7-13 3-3 18, Shumski 0-2 0-3 0, Johansen 3-8 2-2 9, Petrowiak 2-9 1-3 5, Green 0-1 0-0 0, Pytleski 0-0 0-0 0, Wolter 2-7 0-0 5. Totals 17-46 8-14 45.
Krumwiede 5-13 7-11 17, Biehn 0-2 1-3 1, Brolsma 3-5 0-0 6, Weber 6-11 5-6 18, Sitzmann 2-6 0-2 5, Saxen 1-4 2-6 4, Ebeling 2-2 0-0 4, Sinn 0-0 2-4 2. Totals 19-43 17-32 57.
3-pointers: GHEC 3-18 (Johansen 1-2, Wolter 1-4, Stensland 1-5, Kristenson 0-3, Petrowiak 0-4); MCW 2-7 (Weber 1-2, Sitzmann 1-4, Biehn 0-1). Fouled out: Brolsma, Shumski and Green. Rebounds: MCW 34 (Krumwiede 17); GHEC 26 (Wolter 6). Assists: MCW 8 (Sitzmann 5); GHEC 8 (Green 4). Steals: MCW 12 (Sitzmann 6); GHEC 6 (Petrowiak 3).
Martin County West 59, Granada-Huntley-East Chain 49 - Sure-handed Taryn Tumbleson pocketed seven of the Mavericks' 21 steals and netted 19 points to help engineer a 59-49 Valley Conference victory over the Mustangs on Saturday night in Trimont.
After GHEC freshman center Rachel Shumski opened the game with a low-post leaner for two of her 12 points, forward Kate Thiesse erupted for eight of MCW's ensuing 10-0 run to swing the momentum to the home team.
Thiesse, who finished with a game-best 20 points to complement seven boards and four steals, later triggered the Mavericks' 9-0 surge that helped build a 33-20 halftime lead.
Thiesse and Tumbleson applied backcourt defensive pressure to create 20 of GHEC's 31 turnovers during the opening half. MCW committed only 14 turnovers on the game.
After netting just five first-half points, Tumbleson warmed up the nets by draining all three of her 3-pointers to eventually extend the Mavericks' margin to as much as 16 before Mustang power forward Anna Balcom and Shumski engineered the visitors' gallant late comeback.
Balcom, who produced a stellar double-double performance of 12 points and a game-leading 15 boards to complement four assists, pounded the backboards at both ends to steadily trim GHEC's deficit to under double digits.
Balcom fed Shumski for back-to-back low-post baskets before working the heart of the lane for a runner off of one of Tia Grathwohl's three assists to inch within 55-48 with two minutes remaining in regulation.
Tumbleson and Morgan Williamson combined for four free throws down the stretch to fend off GHEC's comeback bid.
Williamson scored seven points and doled out five assists for the Mavericks.
Grathwohl delivered 10 points, a team-best five steals and three assists off the Mustangs' bench, while Amanda Cegelske distributed four assists.
Martin County West (3-0, 2-0 Valley) plays host to Nicollet on Tuesday night in Trimont, while Granada-Huntley-East Chain (1-2, 1-1) travels to Mankato Loyola on Tuesday night.
Cegelske 2-4 0-0 4, Balcom 5-13 2-2 12, Shumski 6-13 0-2 12, Jensen 1-4 1-5 3, Sauck 0-0 0-0 0, Stennes 1-6 1-2 4, Scheff 0-0 0-0 0, Grathwohl 4-6 0-0 10, Becker 2-2 0-0 4. Totals 21-48 4-11 49.
Lange 1-1 1-2 3, Thiesse 8-14 4-6 20, Tish 2-3 0-0 4, Tumbleson 7-24 2-3 19, Williamson 2-10 3-6 7, Madyson Larson 1-3 0-3 2, W. Smith 0-1 0-1 0, Geistfeld 0-3 0-0 0, Leiding 0-3 2-2 2, Kuehl 1-4 0-0 2. Totals 22-66 12-23 59.
3-pointers: GHEC 3-7 (Grathwohl 2-2, Stennes 1-4, Cegelske 0-1); MCW 3-13 (Tumbleson 3-9, Williamson 0-3, Kuehl 0-1). Fouled out: Sauck and Cegelske. Rebounds: GHEC 42 (Balcom 15, Shumski 8); MCW 35 (Thiesse 7). Assists: GHEC 14 (Cegelske and Balcom 4 each); MCW 12 (Williamson 5). Steals: MCW 21 (Tumbleson 7); GHEC 11 (Grathwohl 5).