MONTGOMERY – The Faribault Bethlehem Academy Cardinals boys basketball defense shined in a non-conference victory over Montgomery-Lonsdale Redbirds 51-39 Thursday night at Montgomery-Lonsdale High School. “It’s about taking baby steps after changing our offense to a swing offense this year,” Montgomery-Lonsdale head boys basketball coach said afterward.
The first half of the game would be defined by a close, defensive game with neither team getting a lead of more than five points. The Cardinals were able to keep the Redbirds leading scorer Dalton Zeug to just seven points on the game after averaging 21-points-per-game coming into the game. Bethlehem Academy would be lead by Mitch Malecha in the first half with eight points. The Cardinals would also get to the free throw line nine times in the first half and 27 times overall in the game thanks to their attacking offense and their offensive rebounds. Bethlehem Academy would take a 21-19 lead into the half.
The second half would see the score stay close early as it would be 25-24, Bethlehem Academy before two Montgomery-Lonsdale starters would collect their fourth foul with over 13 minutes left in the game. The Cardinals would take full advantage of this and go on a 22-5 run to make the score 47-29 before a timeout by the Redbirds.
“I told the guys just play our ball and be tough on defense,” coach Meier said and it worked as Montgomery-Lonsdale would force turnovers and take advantage of missed free throws to put them on a 10-0. The Redbirds would make the score 47-39 with two minutes left in the game. Bethlehem Academy would finally start to make free throws with Tim Angell and Adam Clark to finally put the game away and make the final score 51-39, Bethlehem Academy. The Redbirds would be lead in scoring by Alex Turgeon with 12 points. The Cardinals were led by Mitch Malecha with a game high 13 points.
Montgomery-Lonsdale falls to 1-2 on the season and will travel to Blooming Prairie on Tuesday night for their next game.
By: Adam Bartels