Luke Emmerich chase down block

Luke Emmerich hustles back on defense for a chase down block against Princeton in the Monticello High School field house. Emmerich combined for two blocks and three steals, Friday, Jan. 7.

The boys basketball team lost on the road against Rocori on Tuesday, Jan. 4 and at home against Princeton on Friday, Jan. 7. The Tigers have yet to drop a game yet this season, but the Magic gave them a run for their money down to the final buzzer.

Monti got off to a hot start against Princeton, but lost their early double digit lead and were down ten at the half before mounting a serious comeback with a final heave at the final buzzer. The Magic made five threes and two of them were at the start of the game to propel them to an early 16-6 lead. Wyatt Sawatzke finished a tough reverse layup in traffic on the baseline to get them to 16.

The home squad were able to get out and run amok on the Tigers early and were getting everything they wanted in the paint in a very fast paced game.

Monti committed too many fouls that helped spark Princeton’s run to end the first half. Their hot start in the paint also cooled off and the switch flipped for both teams as the Tigers went on a 25-10 run to end the half and took a 46-36 lead into halftime.

“I really liked our team’s effort,” said Head Coach Dillon Naumann. “They wanted to come out and be aggressive and I like the mindset that we’re just going to come out and throw punches right away. I was happy with our battle. Being down ten at halftime and then it’s like okay, now we have to chip away. And we were able to do that,” Naumann added.

After giving up 46 in the first half the Magic defense got back on track in the second half allowing only 22 in the second. Monticello went to work and tied the game at 51 with 8:40 left in the game.

The Tigers answered with a three point play to take a 54-51 lead over the Magic and held onto a varying lead between one and six for the rest of the half, but the final minutes were intense and there was a playoff like atmosphere in the building.

With 42.2 seconds left to play, Brady Thompson was left all alone at the top of the key and smacked home a three off the dribble to make the score 65-62. Princeton was in the bonus and Thompson fouled Cooper Drews. Drews missed the free throw, but Princeton grabbed the offensive rebound and finished with a layup.

Sawatzke was left wide open in the corner and he made his three point attempt to cut the deficit to 67-65 with 11.2 seconds remaining.

After tipping a couple of inbounds attempts, Ryan Schyma was forced to foul Cooper Nowak. Nowak made the first, but missed his second free throw. The Tigers got an offensive rebound, but Haydn Stay missed the putback. Schyma threw up a prayer at the buzzer from half court, but it didn’t fall and the Tigers held on to win, 68-65.

Carson Kolles finished with a game high 27 points on 50 percent shooting. Thompson finished second on the Magic with 20 points and led the team with eight rebounds.

Monticello (3-7, 0-1 M8) gets Chisago Lakes (1-7, 0-2) on the road Tuesday before hosting St. Francis (4-7, 1-1) on Friday.

Monticello 67, Rocori 70

Monticello lost on the road to Rocori earlier in the week on Tuesday, Jan. 4. Kolles dropped 32 points, five rebounds and two assists. Thompson and Sawatzke combined for 30 points. Luke Emmerich and Joe Schluender were the only other Magic players who scored.

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