The Sleepy Eye Public boys basketball team started its season with a bang on Nov. 22 after an exciting win at home.

Sleepy Eye Public 79, Westbrook-Walnut Grove 76

The Sleepy Eye Public boys basketball team started its season with a bang on Nov. 22 after an exciting win at home.

Senior Brandon Polesky led the Indians with 31 points along with seven assists, seven rebounds, and four steals. Polesky said it was nice to win the season opener.

“It’s a great feeling to get that first one out of the way,” Polesky said. “Everyone did good offensively and defensively."

A quick pace was set by both teams from start to finish. Sleepy Eye showed its full two weeks of practice prior to the opener had paid off, as the Indians passed well and weren’t afraid to make plays in toward the basket.

Defensively however, Sleepy Eye failed to get a big lead going as the Chargers responded with points of their own to keep the score within single digits throughout the game.

“We got to get better defensively,” Indians Coach Brian Polesky said. “I thought we gave up a lot of easy baskets and miscommunication on defense, but you know first game of the season you’re going to have some mistakes.”

Westbrook-Walnut Grove further stepped up its offensive game in the second period. Even after Sleepy Eye’s Austin Trebesch sunk two three-pointers in a row, the Chargers responded and took the lead at 52-51. This is when the excitement began, as the clock was quickly winding down while neither team could get a solid lead.

After the score was tied at 54, 67, and 69, the Indians finally broke away and took a 73-69 lead with a minute remaining after a three point play was made by sophomore Isaiah Krumbach. The four point lead continued a play later, as senior Spencer Weicherding was fouled from his own made basket to bring the score to 75-71. Weicherding had a chance to score two more points a few plays later, when he was fouled again. But Weicherding missed both free throws while Westbrook-Walnut Grove scored and it was a one point game at 76-75. But thanks to Brandon Polesky, who was fouled and made both free throws, Sleepy Eye had a 78-75 lead. Instead of giving the Chargers a chance to tie it with a three-pointer, the Indians chose to foul their opponent, which resulted in only one point scored which brought the game to an end a few seconds later.

Coach Polesky said his team played with composure to end the game.

“First game to be able to handle things down the stretch the way they did I thought they did a nice job,” Brian Polesky said. “Good team win.”

Behind Brandon Polesky, senior Juan Montemayer led Sleepy Eye with 23 points along with five assists, five rebounds, and four steals. Meanwhile, Trebesch and Weicherding had eight points apiece and combined for six rebounds and three steals. Finally, Krumbach had six points on the night and led in rebounds with eight and had four steals as well.