Boys basketball roundup: Big night for KMS senior

Feb. 22—KERKHOVEN — On a milestone night, Jared Cortez vaulted Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg to victory in its regular-season finale.

Cortez, a senior for the Fighting Saints' boys basketball team, scored his 1,000th career point as part of a 31-point effort on Thursday. He helped KMS come back from a 28-24 halftime deficit to beat Lakeview in a Camden Conference matchup, 71-55.

Needing seven points to hit the mark, Cortez clinched the milestone with a free throw with 3 minutes, 26 seconds left in the first half. He hit four 3-pointers in the victory and went 11 of 28 from the field. Cortez also had seven rebounds and a pair of steals.

DeAndre Holloway finished with a double-double, scoring 20 points and hauling in 10 rebounds. He also had three blocked shots. Teagen Diederich hit four 3-pointers in a 15-point effort.

Braylon Breyfogle led the visiting Lakers with 19 points. Cody Helmke added 17.

The Fighting Saints head into the playoffs winners of three straight games.

KMS begins postseason play in the Section 3AA playoffs on Saturday, March 2. The bracket has yet to be released.

Azayah Washington propelled St. Cloud Apollo to victory against Willmar at St. Cloud.

Washington scored a game-high 45 points. The junior guard shot 15 of 28 from the field, 6 of 17 from beyond the arc and made 9 of 11 free throws. He added four rebounds, two steals and an assist.

Willmar had two scorers in double figures. Will Sportel led the way with 20 points and Avery Christensen had 13.

The Cardinals resume Central Lakes Conference play against Rocori at 7:15 p.m. Monday at Willmar.

Connor Engelmeyer notched 23 points to help the Dutchmen defeat New London-Spicer at New London.

Engelmeyer shot 9 of 14 from the field, including 3-for-5 on three-pointers. He was 2 of 2 from the free throw line.

Connor Anderson added 10 points and seven rebounds for Melrose.

For the Wildcats, Grant Paffrath scored a game-high 26 points on 10 of 30 shooting and 3 of 7 free throws. The senior contributed eight rebounds, three steals and an assist.

NLS returns to Wright County Conference play at Rockford at 7 p.m. Friday.

Luke Dingmann paced Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa past Brandon-Evansville at Brooten.

Dingmann, a senior guard/forward, neared a triple-double with 18 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists. He added three blocks.

Hayden Sobiech, a junior guard, scored a team-high 20 points for the Jaguars. He also had five rebounds, four steals and two assists.

BBE gets back to Central Minnesota Conference action against Maple Lake at 7 p.m. Friday at Brooten.

Gannon Reidinger had 20 points, 11 rebounds and five assists, and Carson Boike contributed 14 points to help lead Montevideo to the victory over Lac qui Parle Valley at Madison.

Kaden Molden had 14 points to lead LQPV.

LQPV continues its non-conference schedule at Hancock at 7:30 p.m. Friday. The Thunder Hawks also continue non-conference play against MACCRAY at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Montevideo.

Paynesville boosted its won-lost record to 19-5 with the victory over Minnewaska at Glenwood.

Minnewaska fell to 2-23.

The Bulldogs resume Central Minnesota Conference play against Eden Valley-Watkins at 7 p.m. Friday at Paynesville. Minnewaska continues non-conference action at Osakis at 6 p.m. Monday.