Buckets by Woodford, Irlbeck help Redwood Valley top New Ulm 59-56

Three-pointer’s from Cole Woodford and Mitch Irlbeck in the final minute of regulation helped Redwood Valley escape with a 59-56 win over host New Ulm Tueday night in a Big South Conference boys basketball thriller. Trailing by three, Woodford buried a three-pointer to tie the score and Irlbeck would convert a three-point play with under five seconds to play for the game-winner.

It was a big win for the Cards (6-5) against a quality opponent after suffering a tough two-point loss Friday night at home to Worthington.

The Cards struggled to just 21-of-67 shooting (31 percent) but were 10-of-12 from the charity stripe and erased a nine-point first half deficit with a strong second half effort.

Woodford led the way with 20 points and seven rebounds and Irlbeck had 14 points and eight boards. Bronson Smith went a perfect 3-for-3 from the floor on the way to seven points and four rebounds, Payton Nelson added six points, Deo Charles had five points and five rebounds, Kyle Huhnerkoch added four points and three boards and Logan Josephson had three points and eight rebounds.

Friday night the Cardinals got into a tight battle with Worthington at home, falling 79-77 on a late shot by the Trojans’ Gavin Calmus.

The Cards led 46-39 at the half but were outscored 40-31 in the second half in falling to 1-4 in Big South West Conference play. Woodford knocked down a big three to tie the game at 77 but the Cards could not find an answer in the end.

Woodford would finish with 21 points, nine rebounds and two assists. Charles was the spark that led the Cards to the early first half lead as he went 6-of-8 from long range to finish with 21 points (all in the first half), three rebounds and two steals.

Irlbeck added 16 points and three assists and Huhnerkoch had 10 points. Josephson had five points and four boards, Smith added two points and two rebounds and Colin Wells had two points.