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New Life Academy boys basketball: Eagles beat St. Croix, fall to Maranatha

The New Life Academy boys basketball team had two blowout games last week. Unfortunately for the Eagles, one of those games resulted in their first loss of the season.

The Eagles opened the week with an 80-60 win over St. Croix Lutheran (3-1) on Tuesday, despite 27 points from senior guard Cody Sticha.

New Life Academy was led by junior guard John Horner, who finished with 19 points. Nine of those points came from the 3-point line. Senior forward Zach Prefer added 12 points, while senior Cameron Duffy added 10.

Help came on the defensive side for the ball as well. Sophomore guard Sam Horner, junior guard Kyle Linton and sophomore forward Conrad Engstrom each had three steals apiece. In total, the Eagles finished with 14 steals on the night.

The Eagles led by 13 points at half, but the Crusaders tied the game with 10 minutes to go before New Life ran away with the game.

Thursday's game, however, didn't go as smoothly.

New Life Academy (4-1, 1-0 in Minnesota Christian Athletic Association play), was beaten easily by Maranatha Christian (4-0, 1-0) 90-48.

The team was outrebounded 36-17 and gave up 28 layups.

Not one Eagle scored in double-digits. Prefer led the way with nine points.

For Maranatha Christian, six players eclipsed double-digits. Senior forward Isaiah Hanson led all scored with 17 points.

Head coach Doug Linton noted that it was a humbling experience, but hopefully one that his team will grow from.

"My concern is not wins in December, but that we learn to play better as a team and keep improving each day," Linton said. "Our saying to our guys all year has been 'Am I better today than I was yesterday?' We need to keep working hard and get better and we will have a great season."

It won't be easy for the Eagles to get back on track, as they have two road games this week. On Tuesday, they traveled to play St. Anthony Village (1-3). New Life will hit the road again on Thursday, traveling to play Concordia Academy Roseville (2-2).