The scene was alive last night in Montgomery as the Redbirds opened their doors to the Central Raiders of Norwood-Young America. Before the varsity game the junior squads were engaged in a battle of wills, unknown to them they would foreshadow the nights main event.
Montgomery-Lonsdale entered the contest deprived of a conference win, posting a 3-8 record. Finding no traction in winner’s alley Head Coach Andrew Meier was compelled to try different strategies and starting players. Weekly practice was the gauntlet and the surviving five would be Dalton Zaug, Hunter Hinze, Alex Turgeon, Jesse Beulke, and Jordan Trnka. These five Redbirds would have the task of handling a Raiders squad that had gotten a custom to winning.
With a 7-4 record first year Head Coach Nat Boyer was confident that their aggressive defense and physical height would prevail. All but one Norwood-Young America starter was over 6 feet tall, the tallest being 6’5” Luke Marschall and in progressive order Adam Neubarth, Tom Messner, Reid Stacken, and Ryan Marschall. As good as Norwood-Young America is six days without a game caught up to the Raiders as they let this one slip by.
The first half saw Luke Marschall hit the bench earlier because of foul trouble while guarding Jordan Trnka being replaced by Joe Borak , Trnka would go on to score double digits. In response, the Raiders liberally applied their full court press before the ten minute mark. However, the word that defined the half was turn-over. By the end of the night both teams would have enough turn-overs to require your shoes off in order to count them. Even though both teams had trouble retaining possession the difference came as the Redbirds were able to prevent the Raiders from scoring off of their turn-overs.
The second half had both schools looking as fresh as they started. Right off the whistle the Redbirds were ready offensively taking the lead within the first few minutes. The lead would be exchanged a dozen times before the final minute mark. With 60 seconds left and a one point lead the Redbirds called for a breather as they drew up a game plan. Things wouldn’t go to plan and the Redbirds would be left dazed and without the lead thanks to a breakaway layup by Ryan Marschall. Coach Meier would call his final time out and leave the rest to his team. Zaug on the inbound, over to Hinze(who had a great game 12 pts and 5 rebounds), down to Beulke in the lane. He would go up with the final seconds running off the clock and as the ball would fall, Redbird fans would rise to their feet in celebration. The Redbirds would their first conference game 67-66 over the Norwood-Young America Raiders. Coming up for the Raiders a home game on Tuesday January 17th against LeSueur-Henderson and on the same night the Redbirds pack up the bus and head to Mayer Lutheran. For KCHK Sports this Josh Gebhart reporting.