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New Life Academy boys basketball: Eagles’ season ends in sections

The New Life Academy boys basketball team saw its season come to a disappointing end in the quarterfinals of Section 4AA playoffs on Saturday, March 1. The third-seeded Eagles fought hard but lost to sixth-seeded Minneapolis Roosevelt 68-61 in Woodbury. 

In the back-and-forth game, the Eagles found themselves down by three points at the half. Roosevelt (8-19; 2-9 Minneapolis City) shot the ball very well going 9-13 from behind the 3-point line while the Eagles struggled to make easy baskets, shooting under 35 percent from inside the 3-point line and allowed 12 offensive rebounds by the Teddies. Despite the tough loss, the Eagles finished their season 20-6 overall and 10-3 in the Minnesota Christian Athletic Association conference. 

The Eagles graduate six outstanding seniors - Busch, John Horner, Kyle Linton, Sam Nelson, Mark Schreiner and Derek Wu. 

New Life began the week with a win over West Lutheran (11-15; 6-7 MCAA) 63-46 to end the regular season behind 21 points from Conrad Engstrom and 14 points from Horner. 

The team then opened the playoffs at home against FAIR School (3-12) on Thursday, Feb. 27, at New Life Academy. The Eagles got off to a slow start and only led by one point at the half but a second-half spark, led by senior Alex Busch got the team off and running to take down 14-seeded FAIR School 86-59. 

Busch and Engstrom led the team with 14 points each with Busch adding seven assists and two steals. 

Prior to the playoffs, New Life lost at home for the first time this season in a rematch with Maranatha Christian Academy (23-3; 13-0 MCAA) on Tuesday, Feb. 18 in overtime 72-70. It was a back-and-forth battle that saw New Life tie the game late in regulation on a 3 pointer by Engstrom, who led the team with 20 points. The Eagles missed a few chances in overtime to tie or take the lead but found themselves down two points with 13 seconds remaining. Engstrom's 3-pointer at the buzzer fell short and the team lost only their fifth game of the season. Horner added 18 points in the effort. 

—Patrick Johnson

Patrick Johnson
Patrick Johnson has been the South Washington County Bulletin’s sports editor since 2008. He reports on and oversees coverage of high school and amateur sports in south Washington County and Woodbury. Prior to joining the Bulletin, Johnson worked for other Twin Cities suburban newspapers. He is a University of Minnesota graduate.
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