FAIRMONT - Class 2A, No. 5-ranked Fairmont weathered Redwood Valley's downpour of 3-pointers during first-half nonconference basketball action on Tuesday night at Cardinal Gym.
Josh Eversman produced six of his 17 points and garnered seven of his game-best 11 rebounds during the second half to help propel the hometown Cardinals to a 68-59 comeback triumph in Fairmont.
"We (coaching staff) sold the fact that we were only down by four points at halftime to our players," said Fairmont mentor Jared Thompson, whose lineup trailed by as much as 10 during the opening 18 minutes. "I thought we did a much better job on the boards and tracking down loose balls during the second half to offset their 3-point shooting during the first half.
ELEVATING — Fairmont’s Josh Eversman (25) elevates to fire a jumper over Redwood Valley’s Alec Koster (11) during nonconference basketball action Tuesday night at Cardinal Gym in Fairmont. Redwood Valley’s Mitchell Fischer (22) and Thane Widmer (3), along with Fairmont’s Nick Roggow (back), anticipate the shot. Photo by Leanna Becker
"To make a comeback against a quality team like Redwood (Valley) shows a lot of maturity by our players."
Alec Koster, who cleared the 1,000-point career scoring milestone en route to a game-leading 31 points, connected early and often from behind the bonus arc for Redwood Valley. In fact, Koster swooshed the first of his six trifectas to stake the visitors to an early lead that they would not surrender until the 6-minute mark of the second half.
Koster buried five 3s and backcourt teammate Thane Widmer dialed 3-for-3 from long distance to ignite Redwood Valley's blistering 8-for-16 first-half sharpshooting performance en route to a 33-29 lead.
Eversman's 4-for-7 shooting effort from the floor off the bench managed to keep Fairmont within striking distance before teammate Mitch Pfingsten delivered his first field goal of the game with only 5 seconds left before halftime.
Pfingsten, who finished with a team-best 22 points - including 17 during the second half, drained a late 3-pointer to offset Koster's trey at the 11-second juncture.
Fairmont, who trailed Redwood Valley by a miniscule 14-13 deficit on the boards at intermission, outrebounded the visitors by an 18-10 margin during the second half to help trigger a momentum-changing 9-3 at the 8-minute mark.
Trailing 51-47, Justin Barnes came off the Fairmont bench to deliver four critical points via a Pfingsten assist and an offensive putback basket, respectively, to knot the game at 51.
Eversman then spotted Nick Roggow for a low-post basket to give Fairmont its first lead of the game - 53-51 - and caused Redwood Valley to call timeout at the 5:59 mark.
Widmer, who netted 15 points on the game, split the Fairmont defense for a runner in the lane to tie the game again for Redwood Valley out of the short recess.
Eversman and Redwood Valley guard Adam Hengel exchanged 3-pointers to produce another tie at 56 before Jay Ruen's backcourt steal-and-basket triggered Fairmont's ensuing 12-0 surge.
Levi Becker muscled home two of his 13 points in the lane, Pfingsten reeled off six unanswered points and Bryce Holm cashed in Ryan Noll's press-breaking assist for a layup to cap the comeback victory.
Fairmont (18-3, 7-0 South Central) travels to Waseca on Thursday, while Redwood Valley (16-5) hits the road to Jackson County Central on Friday.
Spencer Chirpich converted a clutch one-and-one situation with 4.6 seconds remaining in regulation to seal Fairmont's 54-51 comeback victory over Redwood Valley during B-squad action on Tuesday in Fairmont.
Chirpich produced a team-best 25 points, while teammate Ben Abel delivered eight points, eight rebounds and four steals. Nate Johnson contributed six points for Fairmont, while Nathan Subbert grabbed six boards.
Cade Johnson connected for a game-high 31 points, including eight 3-pointers, for Redwood Valley.
Tyler Tennyson collected 19 points and three steals to engineer Fairmont's 40-26 triumph over Redwood Valley during C-squad action on Tuesday in Fairmont.
Chris Andrews supplied seven points and five rebounds for the hometown Cardinals, Noah Quiring scored six points, while Clayton Maakestad added four points, five rebounds and three steals.
Blue Earth Area 81, St. James 72 - Dallas Barslou netted a game-high 25 points to complement six assists and three steals to trigger the Bucs' 81-72 South Central Conference victory over the Saints on Tuesday night in St. James.
Luke Monson neared double-double territory for Blue Earth Area by scoring 19 points to go with nine rebounds, while teammate Brandyn Olsen contributed 16 points, a game-high eight assists and six boards to the winning effort.
Collin Squiers scored 14 points for the Bucs, while Isaac Darrington chipped in five points and six rebounds.
Blue Earth Area made 29 of 53 field goals and 13 of 20 free throws on the game.
Walker Froehling netted 22 points to top St. James, while Zach Brandts and Ryan Menssen delivered 16 and 15 points, respectively.
The Saints hit 25 of 59 shots from the floor and 13 of 19 at the free throw line.
Blue Earth Area (8-9, 3-5 SCC) plays host to New Ulm on Friday.