February 7, 2023 at 3:51 p.m.
Melrose drops conference contests
Three-point shooting by Bird Island-Olivia-Lake Lillian District led to a 59-44 Melrose Area Dutchmen boys basketball loss Feb. 3 at BOLD High School in Olivia.
The Warriors dropped in five 3s and took the ball, stopping the Dutchmen’s momentum. Melrose’s early leads disappeared as BOLD hit from the outside or scored off of steals.
Using three 3-pointers, the Warriors led 36-23 at the half, then hit a 3 to open the second half. The Dutchmen were playing without senior forward Gor Ruey, who missed the game with an illness. His presence was missed inside as BOLD denied second shots with rebounds.
Connor Engelmeyer’s 11 points led Melrose; he hit one 3-pointer. Samuel Wehlage, 10 points, had two 3-pointers, while Isaac Rosenberger added another 3 and scored five points.
MEL 23 21-44
BOLD 36 23-59
Melrose: Engelmeyer 11 points (4R), Wehlage 10 (3R), Ian Funk 8 (4R), Devin Orbeck 4 (4R), Rosenberger 5, Hunter Goihl 4 (4R) and Fernando Estrella Becerra 2 (3R).
MACA 51, Melrose 49
Scoring on a last-second 3-pointer, the Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta Tigers won 51-49 over the Dutchmen Jan. 31 at Melrose Area Elementary School in Melrose. The game had 16 lead changes and six ties.
“We knew we were pretty equally matched,” said Ryan Dusha, head coach. “We thought if any team would get to 50, they would win, and that’s what happened by that last shot.”
The Dutchmen led 25-22 at the half. Even with Engelmeyer scoring 12 of his team-high 20 points in the second half, it could not hold the lead.
Estrella Becerra’s shot-clock buzzer-beater gave Melrose a 40-39 lead with seven minutes left. He brought more than points to the floor. Few MACA baskets went unchallenged with him under the net.
“He is an energy guy,” Dusha said. “You need some energy, physical-type guys in there. He loves that role.”
Ruey, Engelmeyer and Goihl exchanged baskets with MACA, creating a tie at 46-46 with 1 minute, 23 seconds left. Goihl, with one of his best games this season, finished with 11 points and five rebounds.
“He is doing a nice job of finding openings, and he shoots a high percentage from the floor,” Dusha said.
The final minute was filled with critical plays. Engelmeyer’s three put Melrose up 49-46 with 22 seconds left before MACA scored two points with 13 seconds left. A Dutchmen inbound pass attempt flew out of bounds. The Tigers inbounded, missed the shot and Melrose rebounded, drawing a foul with six seconds left.
MACA rebounded the missed free throw and got the ball to Riley Asmus for the deciding 3-point shot.
“Our guys did tough it out,” Dusha said. “They were down, came back and did everything they could to win. They just couldn’t close it down the stretch.”
During halftime, the annual Coaches vs Cancer event was held. The drive collected $1,270 for the American Cancer Society.
MACA 22 29-51
MEL 25 24-49
Melrose: Engelmeyer 20 (6R), Goihl 11 (5R), Ruey 8 (8R), Orbeck 6 (4R, 3A), Wehlage 2 and Estrella Becerra 2.