Kenyon-Wanamingo Boys Defeat Bethlehem Academy in Season Opener
The Kenyon-Wanamingo Knights had double digit leads multiple times in each half but had to hold on for a 60-54 win tonight over the Faribault Bethlehem Academy Cardinals in the Castle.
It was the first game of the season and both coaches told us you never really know what kind of a team you have until you get into game action. Early in the game it appeared the Knights were going to blow the Cardinals out the door. BA experienced turnover after turnover during a stretch that saw their Head Coach Melissa Hager take a couple of timeouts to get things settled down and they did.
The halftime score was 35-29 in favor of Kenyon-Wanamingo. My unofficial statistics had Bethlehem Academy with 13 first half turnovers and K-W 4. Points off turnovers were 20-5 in favor of the Knights. Kenyon-Wanamingo Head Coach Brent Lurken had to be thinking what a great formula for success.
The Knights starters had 18 points and reserves 17 points in the first half with the Baker and Axelson CPA's of Wanamingo statistics noted earlier.
The Cardinals got the game to a single possession contest before turnovers during a few minute stretch punched the lead back to double digits for Kenyon-Wanamingo. Credit Bethlehem Academy for continuing to play hard. They switched from their match up zone to a straight man to man defense and got some Knights turnovers they turned into points and the lead was 51-43 with 7:58 to go in the game.
Under 3 minutes to go it was a one possession game again thanks to points converted off three successive Knights turnovers but Bethlehem Academy could never take the lead despite three players reaching double figures in the game.
Cardinals junior JJ Malecha led all players with 22 points including 4 three point baskets. Senior Jack Jandro added 12 points. They were named our Faribault State Farm Insurance Agents Faribault Players of the Game courtesy of Faribault State Farm Agents Jason Krohn and Tony Langerud.
The Malecha's Auto Body Crunch Time Defensive Player of the Game was senior Kade Robb who also chipped in 12 points. 9 in the first half.
The Cardinals are without the services of sophomore Brady Strodtman for the season due to a football injury. Junior Riley Kangas was also out due to injury. They are scheduled to host Blooming Prairie Friday. The Awesome Blossoms won the Class A State football title last Saturday. The game is still on the Gopher Conference Calendar.
Kenyon-Wanamingo senior Tate Erlandson finished with 20 points, junior Casey Wesbur added 12 points. They were named our Held Bus Service of Kenyon Knights of the game.
The Knights match their 1 win total of a season ago in their opener and travel to Janesville-Waldorf- Pemberton Thursday.
My unofficial final statistics showed Kenyon-Wanamingo with 30 points off 26 Bethlehem Academy turnovers. The Knights had 12 turnovers and the Cardinals scored 11 points off of those.
The Cardinals were 11 of 15 from the free throw line, Knights 5 of 10.
The statistic of the game was the 19 points off the bench for Kenyon-Wanamingo and 6 points for Bethlehem Academy.