OAK PARK HEIGHTS — A balanced attacked help spark a second-half charge as Stillwater pulled away from Mahtomedi 80-59 in Friday’s nonconference boys’ basketball game at Stillwater Area High School.
Andrew Duxbury hit all nine of his free throw attempts and finished with a game-high 17 points as the Ponies (3-0) overcame a two-point halftime deficit by outscoring Mahtomedi 51-28 in the second half.
“It was nice to see us be able to adjust how we played in the first half to the second half,” Ponies coach Randy Jordan said. “The second half we got into the flow of things a little better and we kind of wore them down.”
Stillwater made just six field goals in the first half, but still led most of the way until the Zephyrs used a 10-4 run in the final 5:31 to carry a 31-29 lead into the second half. Aaron Romportl’s basket with just 28 seconds remaining in the half marked Stillwater’s first field since a rebound putback by Joe Quinn nine minutes earlier.
The Zephyrs (2-1) shot just 31 percent from the field (15-49) and committed 20 turnovers — compared to 13 for the Ponies — but also converted 27 of 33 attempts (82 percent) at the free throw line.
“Our major message (at halftime) was to cut down on the fouls,” Jordan said. “Every time they go to the line they have time to rest and we want to wear them down.”
After getting outscored down the stretch in the first half, Stillwater opened the second half on a 22-7 run to grab a 44-35 lead with 14 minutes remaining.
Joe Quinn added 13 points eight rebounds as part of a balanced Stillwater attack while Duxbury also pulled down seven rebounds. Sam Lagus drained three 3-pointers and Aaron Romportl joined him with nine points. Twelve different Ponies scored points on Friday.
“We’ve definitely got a lot of people who can score,” Jordan said. “It’s nice to have the balance we have and from night to night it’s going to change.”
Zach Lindquist finished with 17 points to lead Mahtomedi.
Mahtomedi 31 28 — 59
Stillwater 29 51 — 80
Mahtomedi (pts): Sam Mustar 6, Nuni Omot 9, Jordan Goodmanson 4, Zach Lindquist 17, Sean Hjelle 2, Jackson Hull 4, Sam Newman 3, Colin Baumgard 5 and Lucas Buller 7.
Stillwater: Jack Fahey 2, Sam Lagus 9, Aaron Romportl 9, Brian Branch 1, Andrew Duxbury 17, Nick Ogren 8, Tony Lennox 6, Joe Quinn 13, Matt Anderson 3, Chad Schlosser 4, Kyle McKinley 4 and Joel Malwitz 4.
3-pointers: Mah (2): Newman and Buller; St (7): Lagus 3, Duxbury 2 and Ogren 2.
Free throws: Mah, 27-33; St, 29-38.
Fouls: Mah, 24; St, 29.
Fouled out: none.