The Faribault Falcons boys basketball team had a happy bus ride home Friday night following a 57-49 win over the New Ulm Eagles.  It was not the most efficient win.  I told a number of Falcons fans after the game they found a way to win and that is the goal when you play.  There are a few things Faribault needs to work on and there were also some positives seen in the victory.

New Ulm led at halftime 22-21 following a poor shooting first half for both teams.  The lone exception for the Eagles was 6'5 junior Reece Melby.  He finished with 20 points and had 5 three point baskets in the game.  The difference at the half was the free throw line where New Um was 4 of 5 and Faribault was 2 of 6.

6'4 senior Joe Palmer struggled mightily in the first half with just one field goal and missed the only two free throws he shot.  Palmer appeared to be rushing his shot, trying to make something happen.  After settling down he did get into a rhythm in the second half and finished with 20 points to lead the Falcons.

The great thing about Palmer is he is not just a spot up three point shooter.  When the outside shot isn't working he can create offense for others or attack the basket off the dribble.  Following a time out first year Faribault Head Coach Eric Hildebrandt had a set play for Palmer on the block going to the basket which worked. A trip or so later on offense he got fouled attacking the rim and netted his first two free throws of the game.  That appeared to get him in a groove.

Also in the second half 6'2 senior Mitch Nelson nailed two timely three point baskets.  He also hit three of his last 4 throws to seal the win.  Palmer and Nelson were joined by 6'2 junior Maverick Jeanes for our Faribault State Farm Insurance agents Faribault players of the game.  Jeanes finished with 8 points off the bench. He was very efficient shooting and pulled down some rebounds.

The glass is an area the Falcons will need to work on.  Their starters are all athletic but will be undersized most nights in the Big Nine Conference.  There were several times in the game when the New Ulm purple got the ball with no white jerseys around.

Faribault finished the game 11 of 19 at the charity stripe.  New Ulm was 9 of 13.  Considering it was the first game of the season both teams took care of the basketball.  The Falcons had just 6 turnovers by my count.  New Ulm finished with 9.

The Faribault bench outscored New Ulm 10-7.

The 1-0 Falcons are at Albert Lea Friday and the 0-1 Eagles travel to Blue Earth Area as both teams start their conference seasons.

Here are some other boys scores from Friday night:

  • Pine Island 61 Bethlehem Academy 41...The Cardinals were without a couple starters in their opener on the road.  Damon Trump led the scoring with 13 points and Ethan Nutter added 8 points.  For the Panthers Carter O'Reilly 19, Josh Navratil 16 points, 9 rebounds, Jacob Weber 15 points
  • Glencoe-Silver Lake 86 Tri-City United 33
  • Waterville-Elysian-Morristown 73  LeSeuer-Henderson 61
  • St. Peter 56  NRHEG 52
  • Farmington 72  Rochester Century 64 (OT)
  • Zumbrota-Mazeppa 61  Lewiston-Altura 60
  • Goodhue 61  Fillmore Central 33
  • Lake City 69  Dover-Eyota 44
  • Cannon Falls 51  Wabasha-Kellogg  34
  • Triton 69  Schaeffer Academy 56
  • Plainveiw-Elgin-Millville 97  Leroy-Ostrander 75
  • Truman/Martin Luther/GHEC 57  Glenville-Emmons 47
  • St. Charles 86  Stewartville 63
  • Nicollet 69  Sibley East 62
  • Blue Earth Area 66  Maple RIver 50
  • St. Louis Park 57   Burnsville 55
  • Blooming Prairie 75  Kenyon-Wanamingo 58

Girls high school games from Friday night:

  • Rochester John Marshall 60  Faribault 44..  The Rockets had too much firepower in Rochester Friday night.  JM senior Jessie Ruden had 16 points including the 1,000th point of her career and three other players were in double figures.  The Rockets led 41-16 at the half.  Evy Vettrus led Faribault with 16 points and Zoe Frank added 11 points.
  • Hayfield 51  Maple River 33
  • Waterville-Elysian-Morristown 73  Faribault Bethlehem Academy 42
  • Medford 79  NRHEG 61
  • Randolph 58  Leroy-Ostrander 42
  • Kasson-Mantorville  59  Hutchinson 51
  • Tri-City United 79  Glencoe-Silver Lake 68
  • Minnetonka 50  Lakeville South 48
  • Burnsville 50  Edina 46
  • Albert Lea 64  Rochester Century 46
  • Plainview-Elgin-Millville 54  Pine Island 36
  • Dover-Eyota 55  Southland 30
  • Cotter 70  Lewiston-Altura 31
  • Chaska 58  Shakopee  55
  • Lyle/Pacelli  58  Alden-Conger/Glenville-Emmons  45
  • Spring Grove 73  Lanesboro 45
  • Grand Meadow 66  Schaeffer Academy 28
  • Kingsland 58  Mabel-Canton 47
New Ulm Photo from 1899. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld