The Cathedral Crusaders boys basketball team beat New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva 70-59 in overtime Wednesday night in the opening round of the Class AA state basketball tournament at Williams Arena.

The Crusaders led 37-27 early in the second half before the Panthers went on a 10-0 run to tie the game. The teams then traded baskets throughout the second half until Ben Lundberg hit a three-pointer with time expiring for NRHEG to send the game to overtime.

"There were lots of big moments in the game, we were up ten and they call a timeout then go on a big run," Cathedral coach Matt Meyer said. "But once again, like the Melrose game, the guys kept their heads up."

"Our guys are turning into the cardiac kids," Meyer said. "We were playing really good basketball but at the same time the last few games have been very tight."

Michael Schaefer scored 33 points to lead Cathedral, and Mitch Plombon added 25 points in the win for CHS.

"Our guys played great, our two bigs (Schaefer and Plombon), really took over the game in the second half," Meyer said.

Schaefer's 33 gave him sole possession of the team's single-season point record, previously held by Brindley Thiesen.

"It's a cool accomplishment, and it will feel good later on in my career but right now we are focused on our next game," Schaefer said.

Dave Overlund

Williams Arena was packed with fans for both teams, with Cathedral's wearing blue and yellow and the Panthers fans wearing white across the court.

"It was awesome, such a great atmosphere," Schaefer said. "I was actually happy we played here first, because I figured if and when we win, we get to play at Target Center next game as well."

Meyer appeared at the state tournament with Cathedral as a player in 1999.

"It's a special experience, and it was awesome that we got to play at Williams Arena," Meyer said. "That's where we played our semifinal game as well."

The Crusaders will play against Crosby-Ironton on Friday night at Target Center. The game can be heard on AM 1240 WJON, with pregame coverage beginning at 7:45.