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January 30, 2013

Faribault's Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf boys basketball beats EMAC-leading International School

From: - Jan 30, 2013


International School was all over the Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf boys basketball team early on Tuesday night, but slowly the Trojans started to find their game.

By the end of the second half, MSAD had the win over International School that it had been waiting for.

Sammy Ellenbecker scored a team-high 19 points and Shaun Novella nearly had a double-double as the Trojans beat the Huskies 50-49 in an EMAC road game. It was the first conference loss of the season for International School (10-3, 9-1), which sits in first place in the EMAC, and also MSAD’s first win over the Huskies in their last five meetings.

“They got confident and kept playing our style of basketball,” said MSAD coach Lee Jones. “It started as one stop on defense and our confidence boosted up. Our boys elevated their basketball to a higher level. I was very proud of our boys because they played hard, they dove for loose balls, boxed out and communicated. Their attitude has been really positive. Our bench players have really contributed and done their duties and they were awesome.”

MSAD (7-11, 4-6) scored the first points of the game, but the Huskies followed with an 11-point run. Still, the Trojans fought back and led 29-24 at halftime. International School tied the game early in the second session, but eventually MSAD figured out its attack and scored several second-chance points.

“I told the boys, ‘We finally played MSAD basketball,’” Jones said.

Novella had nine points and 10 rebounds, and Tommy Ellenbecker scored nine points and grabbed six rebounds. Sammy Ellenbecker had five rebounds and one blocked shot to go with his team-high scoring total.

“Overall, I could not be more proud of our boys,” Jones said. “They worked hard for this. It’s a great feeling to see how our boys thrive after working hard in practice and off the court.”

MSAD hosts Shattuck-St. Mary’s at 7 p.m. on Thursday.

Reach Sports Reporter Josh Berhow at 333-3119, or follow him on @joshberhow

© 2013, Faribault Daily News, Faribault, MN.