Brandon Polesky needed just 24 points on Jan. 9 to hit his 1,000th career point. But it wasn’t just him who knew the number. Almost everyone in the crowd seemed to be counting down, point after point. The moment finally happened with under two minutes left in the game, when Polesky took the ball himself and made a quick layup to send the home crowd into a standing ovation.
Polesky’s 1,000th career point was one of the only positive moments in the game for the Indians, as they lost 58-69 against New Ulm Cathedral.
“It’s a great accomplishment, but I wish we would have got the win,” Polesky said.
Sleepy Eye started the game strong. The Indians moved quick on offense and showed solid defense. After a few back-to-back leads, sophomore Austin Fischer sunk a three which began a seven point run for Sleepy Eye halfway through the first. But NUC used its strong post players to regain the lead within the final minute. But a clutch three by sophomore Isaiah Krumbach gave the Indians a 28-27 lead at half.
The second half belonged to the Greyhounds. NUC scored 13 unanswered points to take a 48-33 lead. However, the Indians had a very gradual comeback, led by multiple trips to the basket by Polesky. Senior Austin Trebesch cut the lead to just five at 49-54 with a three-pointer which gave them some hope. But with under three minutes left, Sleepy Eye gave the Greyhounds six free throw opportunities on a huge technical foul call, which was too much to overcome.
Senior Juan Montemayor recorded 15 points and two steals, while Krumbach had six points and six rebounds. Meanwhile, Polesky led with 25 points, 11 rebounds, and four assists. Polesky said his teammates deserve the 1,000 career points award as much as he does.
“It’s not an individual award. It goes out to the whole team,” Polesky said. “I mean, I wouldn’t have got this if it weren’t for my teammates. A lot of credit to them.”
The next day, the Indians hosted Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop where the Thunderbirds came out on top, 73-60.
Once again, Sleepy Eye started out strong in the first half, with solid shooting and tight defense. The Indians had a 33-30 lead at half. But GFW wasn’t done, as it took a 39-35 lead to start the second, which jumped to a 46-35 lead from multiple breakaway points. The Thunderbirds took advantage of their physical post player to bring in the points, along with the defensive rebounds as well. Polesky cut the lead to 56-63, but with only three minutes left, Sleepy Eye’s last defense was to foul, which wasn’t enough to win it.
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Polesky led with 28 points, 12 rebounds, and six assists. Krumbach was behind him at 15 points and seven rebounds. Fischer and Montemayor combined for 11 points and seven rebounds.
Indians Coach Brian Polesky said despite the loss, his team played much better basketball than the night before.
“We played with more energy and moved the ball better on offense and I thought we showed great improvement in rebounds tonight which has really hampered us,” Brian Polesky said.
On Jan. 14, Sleepy Eye traveled to Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart, where the Indians finally broke their losing streak and beat the Mustangs 58-55.
Montemayor led with 18 points, while Polesky had 14 along with 11 rebounds and four assists. Krumbach was behind them at nine points and six rebounds, while Spencer Weicherding had eight points. Finally, Trebesch and Fischer combined for nine points and eight rebounds. Sleepy Eye is now 4-8 on the year.