By Brenda Erdahl, Sports Editor. The Irish boys basketball team is 9-3 overall and 5-0 in the Central Minnesota Conference action after two more wins last week. On Tuesday, Jan. 16, the Maple Lake team defeated Paynesville 58-51 and on Friday, Jan. 19, the Irish came out on top against Holdingford, 63-56. Both games were conference match-ups and both games the Irish played at home. A back-and-forth battle against Paynesville kicked off the week with neither team shooting its best. The Irish had the edge, 28-24, by the break. The Maple Lake team forced some Paynesville turnovers midway through the second half to build a lead and the home team was able to hang on for the win. Cole Trager had 15 points, eight rebounds, three steals and two assists in the win. Mitch Hoistad also had 15 points, one rebound, and three assists; Alex Toedter had 11 points, eight rebounds, and one assist while Joseph Stokman had 11 points, six rebounds, and four assists. Both the Irish and the Bulldogs shot 41 percent from the field. Maple Lake was six for 20 from the three-point line and 10 for 21 from the free throw line. The home team out-rebounded Paynesville 35- 32 and had 10 turn overs. “We had a few uncharacteristic turnovers, but the guys kept their heads up and were able to overcome them and get the victory,” coach Tim Staloch said. Friday night’s game against Holdingford was a tale of two halves. In the first half, the Irish got themselves into foul trouble and did not shoot the ball well. By the break the Irish were down 34-24. Maple Lake came back after the break with a new defense that gave them some energy and knocked Holdingford out of its offensive rhythm, Staloch said.
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