By Tim Boser
The Mound Westonka High School boys basketball team came off the winter school break with a light schedule of only one game for the week. On a very cold Jan. 4 evening, the White Hawks traveled to Bloomington to play Kennedy High School in a non-conference match.
The White Hawks carried the cold outside temps into the gym with them. By halftime, the White Hawks had scored only 19 points while shooting an ice cold 22 percent from the field and missing all 11 of their 3-point shots. Fortunately, the White Hawks’ stout defense held the Eagles to only 27 points to maintain a manageable eight-point deficit at the break.
The White Hawks came out of the locker room and began to chip away at the Eagles’ lead in the second half. Key baskets by senior Jack Kraay and junior Nico Phommahaxay, along with continued strong defense, propelled the White Hawks to a 56-48 win to extend their winning streak to seven games.
Kraay and Nico Phommahaxay led the White Hawks in scoring with 13 points each. Kraay also added seven rebounds and three blocks. Other White Hawks in the scoring column included: sophomore Isaiah Dempsey (9 points, 6 rebounds), senior Marshall Boser (7 points, 9 rebounds, 4 blocks), ninth-grader Santi Phommahaxay (7 points, 3 steals), sophomore Jameson Sexton (4 points) and senior Evan Dahl (3 points).
Coach Andre Phillips was pleased with the resiliency of his team. “It was a tremendous challenge for us to come from behind on a difficult shooting night,” said Phillips. “Our bench was key in igniting our comeback, and the boys showed great poise on possessions at the end of the game.”
The White Hawks have a full slate of games coming in mid-January, playing five games in 11 days starting at home on Jan. 9 vs. Hutchinson. Other games include: Jan. 11 at Dassel-Cokato, Jan. 13 at Norwood-Young America, Jan. 16 at New London-Spicer and Jan. 19 at home vs. Rockford.