New Life boys basketball: Eagles beat Simley by 19 for first win of 2011-12The New Life Academy boys basketball team opened the season with a split of two non-conference games last week.
By: Patrick Johnson, Sports Editor, Woodbury Bulletin
The New Life Academy boys basketball team opened the season with a split of two non-conference games last week, falling to Mahtomedi 63-57 before bouncing back with an 80-61 win over Simley for the first win of the winter season.
In the season-opener, against Mahtomedi on Tuesday, Dec. 7, at New Life Academy, the Eagles had a 38-32 lead at the half, but the Zephyrs outscored the home team 31-15 in the second half to escape with a six-point win.
New Life (1-1) was within two points with just seconds remaining in the game, but missed a pair of chances late and Mahtomedi (3-0) hit its free throws to seal the win. New Life lost its halftime lead only scoring two points in the first eight minutes of the second half.
Cam Duffy and Alex Heiser led the Eagles with 17 points apiece while freshman Conrad Engstrom, in his first career varsity game, came off the bench for 11 points. New Life senior captain Dan Otto, a center, was limited with foul trouble all game which led to a huge rebounding advantage for Mahtomedi.
Following the loss, New Life bounced back to beat Simley (1-2) on Friday night at New Life Academy, however.
The Eagles played tough defense to take a lead midway through the first half and never relinquished the lead from there.
“It was a physical game but we maintained our composure extremely well and played well on both ends of the floor,” New Life head coach Dan Linton said.
Otto came back with a vengeance scoring a game-high 29 points and grabbing nine rebounds to lead the Eagles and Heiser added 20 points. The Eagles shot 50 percent from the field for the game and hit 22 of 30 free throws in the game.
New Life Academy took on Concordia Academy of Roseville (1-1) on Tuesday, Dec. 13, after the Bulletin went to press. Next, the Eagles travel to St. Paul to take on Humboldt (0-1) on Friday, Dec. 16.