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Boys Basketball: Boys Basketball: Eagles win hard-fought game against Humboldt

New Life Academy's Kyle Kaemingk drives in for a basket late in the game against St. Paul Humboldt. Kaemingk led the Eagles with 23 points. (Photo by John Molene)1 / 2
Senior guard Adam Busch of New Life Academy brings the ball up court under pressure in the first half. (Photo by John Molene)2 / 2

New Life Academy head coach Doug Linton liked the offense in the Eagles’ 79-72 win over visiting St. Paul Humboldt Tuesday evening.

He wasn’t crazy about his team’s defense, however.

“I’m happy we got a win,” said Linton. “You’ve got to take wins at this point of the year. But I think we can see with the way the game was played that we just lacked that killer instinct. I don’t think we really did a good job defensively of shutting down their penetration or closing on their shooters very well.  We’ve just got to get better defensively.

“It’s great we're scoring 80 points, 90 points, but we’re not going to do that all season,” Linton added. “So we’ve really got to figure out how to lock in on defense and do a better job on the boards and shut teams down. We had opportunities to stretch that lead on them a little bit, and we never took it.”

The New Life Eagles improved to 2-0 on the young season with a hard-fought win over a Humboldt team that trailed most of the game but refused to go away.

New Life led 41-30 at the half following a 21-10 run over the last six minutes before intermission.

But Humboldt caught and passed the Eagles midway through the second half, grabbing a 64-61 lead with 6:39 to play. A lot of that was due to some clutch outside shooting led by guard Derron Riley.

But the Eagles answered with some sizzling shooting of their own to regain the lead. Jaxson Kavanagh drained a three to tie the game at 64-all, and Chris Ketema fired up two more threes to lift New Life to a 70-64 lead with 4:42 to play.

Humboldt never got closer than five points after that as the Eagles were able to salt it away with a display of good, patient passing that led to good looks at the basket.

St. Paul Humboldt dropped to 0-2.

Senior forward Kyle Kaemingk led four New Life players in double figures with 23 points. Adam Busch and Kavanagh had 13 each, Ketema 10 and Drew Wynia nine.

New Life plays at Concordia Academy-Roseville (1-1) Friday.

“I think we moved the ball well on offense and played solid team defense, but we also think we could improve on our defense because we allowed too many points I believe,” said Kaemingk.

Humboldt’s rally for the lead in the second half was a bit of a wake-up call for the Eagles.

“It was good to see what we were made of as a team,” said Kaemingk. “And it was reassuring that we won the game. We have a long way to improve, though.”