Chargers win big in season opener | News, Sports, Jobs


NEW ULM — The Minnesota Valley Lutheran boys basketball team didn’t miss a beat from the end of last season as they cruised to a 80-40 victory over Sibley East in a nonconference game Tuesday.

After reaching the Section 2AA championship game last season, the Chargers opened their 2023-24 season with a big win over a fellow 2AA team.

“Last year we came in and we weren’t playing as a group,” MVL head coach Craig Morgan said. “And I think what we did is we picked up where we left off. We have some things we need to work on, but its going to be a work in progress, and hopefully we’ll keep improving each day.”

MVL played a high-effort game led by strong rebounding and transition offense while creating turnovers on defense.

“If a guy went down for a layup, we had somebody following just in case we’d miss,” Morgan said. “So that’s one thing we’ve stressed, is that we’re not going to make all those open layups. We’ve got to follow those up with somebody else there.”

The Chargers were very active on the offensive glass early, getting 14 points off of putbacks during the game.

A key contributor on offense was Will Kaesermann, who led the Chargers with 19 points, benefiting from the defense collapsing on MVL’s backcourt duo of Ben Pearson who had 17 points, and Kyler Flunker, who added 10, to collect layups from the dunker spot.

Kaesermann said that the team found success by being patient and working together.

“It was a lot of teamwork,” he said. “We just passed it around, took our time and watched the openings in the defense. Look for the hole, and then just put it up.”

Kaesermann added that the chemistry that the team displayed in their first game was due to the experience the team has playing together.

“It was definitely [built] over the summer,” he said. “And the past three years we’ve had with the guys have all just built up to this year. We’ve been looking forward to this year and how far we can get this year.”

MVL started the game with a 7-0 run, with Flunker scoring a layup and a 3, as Sibley East called a timeout. MVL built their lead to 18-11 before going on a 9-0 run, with Flunker again scoring 5 with a putback and a converted and-one, to go up 27-11.

The game never got closer than 16 points from then on as a running clock was put in place in the second half after the Chargers finished the first half up 49-22.

MVL (1-0) plays at New Ulm Cathedral on Thursday.

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