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Posted On: 01/23/18 3:48 PM
The Mayer Lutheran Crusaders improved to 12-3 this weekend with a 72-37 win over Lester Prairie led by an early ten three-point effort that broke apart a zone. Why are the Crusaders a state contender? We break it down based on what we saw.
One. Perimeter Weapons. Can the Crusaders shoot the ball? Lester Prairie is a smaller team and they were dealing with 6-foot-6 agile players Garrett Tjernagel and Baden Noennig so with a smaller team on the floor it made sense that the played a deep zone and hoped they didn’t get scored over. It worked for most of the first half but then Kobey Woolhouse (16 points), Matt Menth (10 points), and Brendan Feltman (8) hit multiple threes and the game opened up massively. Brandon Carlson did a great job of moving the ball around and the Crusaders did this without Cole Hagan who has been hurt.
Two. Baden’s a Prospect. The Crusaders put this game in running time and not only were without Hagan, but leading scorer Baden Noennig received so much attention that he only took a handful of shots scoring six points. It was the first game all year that Baden was in single digits as usually he is scoring his 18-19 a game. Baden is a long, skilled player at 6-foot-6 who has produced big in some of the bigger games the Crusaders have played. He scored 21 against rival Watertown-Mayer, 21 against BOLD, 25 each against Heritage and Cass-Lake Bena, and scored 29 against Jordan. Noennig is a junior and a blossoming prospect.
Three. Too Tough to Defend. The Bulldogs weren’t able to get out and defend the length and shooting touch of Woolhouse hitting his corner threes and then Tjernagel started hitting shots by facing the rim and hitting, going back to the basket and hitting a one hander, and then going after putbacks. Garrett also grabbed seven boards with his 14 points in the paint. Kobey is scoring 15 points a game while Garrett is scoring nine a contest.
Four. Secret Ingredient. We really enjoyed the game that Brendan Carlson played at lead guard. Carlson was the guy rapidly rotating the basketball to the wings for the threes, he attacked the basket and kicked out for shooters, and defensively Carlson was aggressive leading the charge trying to limit the 17 points per game of Michael Ziermann. Carlson did the job of moving the ball, bringing the ball up the floor against pressure, and playing consistently on the defensive end. He also scored his 3-4 baskets that he usually does.
Five. 1,000. LP guard Michael Ziermann has about half a season to play this year and a senior year to go but against Mayer Lutheran, Michael scored the ten points needed to get to 1,000 (had 15 for the game). The impression that I left with was that Ziermann has become a more crafty player creating space for himself beating quicker defenders to space with his ability to handle with a dribble in both directions. Ziermann also has the ability to slide into space and sneak shots in with a soft touch while defenders are in position.