Eyes on state tournament berth
La Crescent have never been there
By Guy N. Limbeck
Either Stewartville or La Crescent will make a first in school history when the two teams meet in boys basketball on Tuesday.
The two Hiawatha Valley League rivals will meet in the Section One, Class AA championship game on Tuesday at 8 p.m. at Mayo Civic Center. Neither school has ever advanced to the state tournament in boys basketball.
La Crescent enters 27-1, its only loss coming to Stewartville in overtime. The two teams split a pair of games this season.
"Our matchups with them are pretty good," Stewartville coach Tony Tuseth said.
Both teams have good size inside with 6-foot-6 centers and a 6-4 forward. The Lancers are a higher scoring team with a bit more firepower. But the Tigers have a strong duo in junior forward Tom Gisler and senior center Steve Nosbisch. Both players average about 16 points a game.
"I hope the shots drop for us and we have to play good defense," Gisler said.
The Tigers take a 22-6 mark into the contest.
"They know what we’re trying to do and we know what they’re trying to do," La Crescent coach Craig Kowal said. "But it will be a real dogfight."
Senior Ian Anderson, a 6-1 forward, leads the Lancers in scoring at about 21 points a game.
"It’s going to be a good matchup," Kowal said. "We’re going to have to play tough defense."
Tuseth said when Stewartville beat the Lancers earlier this season it played man-to-man defense the entire game. He was not sure what approach to take for Tuesday’s all-important rubber match.
"I’ll have to think about it," he said.
Page D4:Game story, summary.