Justin Nixon had his inside and mid-range game working all night for Minster. However, his teammates saw a number of open shots not fall in the first half — Falk included. But shooters are gonna shoot, right?
Nixon went 4-for-4 shooting in the opening 3 1/2 minutes, leading Minster to an 11-5 lead after one quarter. New Bremen made just 2-of-12 shots in the frame.
Minster made less field goals than that in the second quarter, though.Nixon had an early bucket in the quarter, but the Wildcats did not score again until less than a minute remained in the half. An acrobatic layup by Trevor Bergman launched a 10-1 run to close the half. Reece Busse scored five during that stretch as Bremen took a one-point lead into halftime. He and Bergman combined for 12 in the first half.
“Our two emphasis this game were rebounding and turnovers,” New Bremen coach Corey Stephens said. “I felt like we rebounded well in the second quarter, you know, we didn’t give them second-chance shots like we did in the first. When you give a good team second-chance shots, it’s tough. When you turn the ball over and you give up possessions, that’s also tough. In the second quarter, we were able to cut it down by taking care of the basketball and rebounding.”
Nixon was the lone Wildcat with a field goal in the first half. Four different Minster players had field goals in the third quarter. Nixon tacked on eight more to his ledger, Falk had five points, Eric Schmidt got in the scoring column and Brady Hoelscher splashed a 3. Bremen didn’t go away, however.Bergman, Busse and Dan Homan all connected from deep as the Cardinals kept it a six-point game, 32-26, entering the fourth.
A triple by Mitchell Hays quickly made it a one-possession game. But Falk effectively put the game on ice for Minster a minute later.
“That was huge,” Minster coach Michael McClurg said. “They went into that 1-2-2 zone. Justin’s such a good passer, so we knew if we got him a bit of a lane that he would find guys. Bryan was able to knock some shots down. They were really clean looks. There wasn’t anybody around him. That was huge. We needed somebody and getting him back was huge.”
“I think we won the game because they scored 36 points,” he said. “I think if we can do that to teams like New Bremen — I mean, they have a heck of a lot of good athletes and a heck of a lot of good basketball players — if we can keep teams like that to 36, we’ve got a good chance to win. That’s really the bottom line.”A few flicks of the wrist by Falk helped, too.
“Any night, any of us can be that second scorer,” Falk said. “Nixon’s obviously our main guy. We want to go into him, play through him, get him the ball, kick it out. I feel like any game, anyone can be that person.”