Irish beat Chargers, Cubs December 27, 2017 publisherMaple Sports 0 Cole Trager had seven points and 10 rebounds against the Dassel-Cokato Chargers, Tuesday, Dec. 19, at home. (Photos by Brenda Erdahl) by Brenda Erdahl Cole Trager had seven points and 10 rebounds against the Dassel-Cokato Chargers, Tuesday, Dec. 19, at home.(Photos by Brenda Erdahl)Sports Editor The Irish boys basketball team won two games last week. On Tuesday, Dec. 19, Maple Lake battled its way to a 49-41 win over Dassel-Cokato at home despite a sluggish start. On Thursday, Dec. 21, the Irish came out on top of a back-and-forth game against Central Minnesota Conference foe, the Kimball Cubs, 69-62. Tuesday’s came against the Chargers was a tale of two halves. At one point during the first half the Irish found themselves down by as much as 13 points. At the break, D-C held a 27-18 lead. Maple Lake’s defense changed the tone of the game in the second half. The Irish ball handlers gave up only 14 points total while creating easy lay-up opportunities for themselves off steals. Maple Lake outscored the Chargers 16-3 on second-chance points, and committed a season low, nine turnovers. “We did a good job rebounding most of the night by blocking out and hustling after long rebounds,” coach Tim Staloch said. “Rebounding and defense carried us to this victory as we didn’t shoot very well.” Mitch Hoistad led the charge with 20 points. Joseph Stokman had nine points and Cole Trager had seven, plus 10 rebounds. Ben Reilley contributed six points and 10 rebounds as well. The Irish got off to a fast start at Kimball Thursday, jumping to a 10-0 lead over the Cubs. An “exciting back and forth game” ensued that saw Maple Lake’s lead dwindle to one, but never falter. Down the stretch, the Irish hit clutch free throws to help see the team to victory. By the end of the first half, Maple Lake was up 39-34. In the second, the Irish outscored the Cubs 30-28. “It was a great team win” Staloch said. “We shared the ball very well on offense, finding the open player. We ended up with 19 assists on 23 made shots. I am very proud of how our team battled. This is a big road win to start the conference season.” Hoistad led scoring again with 21 points; Trager had 13 points along with seven rebounds and three assists; Alex Toedter had 10 points and Stokman and Andy Mavencamp both contributed nine points. Up next for the Irish is Eden Valley-Watkins on Friday, Jan. 5, at 7:15 p.m. and Litchfield on Tuesday, Jan. 9, at 6 p.m. Both games are on the road.