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Palesh's six three-pointers still not enough for Eagles

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sports Cottage Grove, 55016

Cottage Grove Minnesota 7584 80th Street South 55016

Hope Christian Academy's boys basketball team had a lead for all but the final five minutes of the first half, then chopped a 12-point deficit to six with five minutes remaining in the second half.

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But it still wasn't enough to seal the season's first victory.

The Eagles lost to New Life Academy's ninth-grade team 60-44 last Friday night at Oltman Junior High in St. Paul Park, dropping to 0-11 after falling to Valley Christian 75-34 last Tuesday.

"The boys made a run, but they couldn't get over that hump," said Hope Christian Academy coach Ed McClain.

The Eagles' came out firing last Friday, as Tyler Palesh sunk six three-pointers in the first half to give Hope Christian an early lead. Though the scrappy Eagles forced their own share of turnovers and were able to make several breaks for the basket, they struggled to finish their shots.

New Life took advantage of second and third shot attempts in the second half -- and stuck a more opposing figure on Palesh, holding the sharp-shooter scoreless as New Life tied the game and pulled ahead for a 16-point victory.

"We would have liked to have won the game, but they played alright," McClain said. "They still had a ton of turnovers. We're only shooting 25 percent, and that's kind of tough to win ball games. Tyler had a great shooting night. That was an improvement."

Palesh led the Eagles with 19 points, while Jacob Miller contributed 13 points.

Hope Christian's outing against Valley Christian wasn't as electric. Valley took an untouchable 49-12 first half lead after the Eagles committed 30 turnovers.

"We did a lot better in the second half, but when you spot them such a big lead, it's tough to make any inroads," McClain said.

Though the Eagles' scoring leaders were not available, Brandon Gutzmer led Valley with 19 points.

The Eagles were back on the road last night against Faith Foreston (3-10, 1-7 Christian Athletic League), though results weren't available when the Bulletin went to press. Hope Christian will be back on its home court Friday, Feb. 1, as it hosts Cambridge Christian (7-5, 4-4 CAL).

"We keep seeing glances of good things," McClain said. "We'd like to see the full 36 minutes instead of a little bit here and a little bit there. Until we can get to that point where we can put things together, the games are going to be a struggle for us unfortunately."

Jan. 22

VALLEY CHRISTIAN 75, HOPE CHRISTIAN 34

HCA 12 22 -- 34

Valley Christian 49 26 -- 75

HOPE CHRISTIAN ACADEMY (34) -- Not available

VALLEY CHRISTIAN (75) -- Kyle Kinzer 4, Andrew Brace 11, David Danielson 10, Brandon Gutzmer 19, Jarred Berhow 9, Eric Strohbeen 11, Luke Matson 11

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