Albany Boys Basketball Is Battle Tested Heading to State
The Class 2-A boys basketball state tournament starts Tuesday at Williams Arena and Target Center. Albany is the #2 seed and will play unseeded Pequot Lakes at 6 p.m. at Williams Arena. The Huskies are 29-1 while Pequot Lakes is 25-5. Albany came from behind to beat Pequot Lakes in their previous meeting January 9th, 74-52.
Albany head coach Cory Schlagel joined me on WJON. He says his team plays well as a group and he praised their willingness to be coached and to do what is necessary to help the team win. Schlagel indicates this journey all began when they lost the section championship to Annandale last season. He says the underclassmen who were either a part of last year's team or on the cusp of seeing varsity time put time in the weight room and on the basketball court to be ready for this season.
Schlagel says this team likes one another on and off the court and that translates to success. He says they play a lot of man defense and run different coverages depending on who they play.
Schlagel describes his personnel as diverse. He says leading scorer Tysen Gerads can play above the rim and is a 3-level scorer, and 4-man Sam Hondl is a stretch 4 who can also post up. Schlagel says so many of their guys can play both ends of the court and handle the ball which makes them tough to approach. Gerads has announced that he'll play college basketball at Minnesota State-Moorhead starting next season.
Schlagel's uncle, Kevin was the head men's basketball coach at St. Cloud State from 1997-2014, was an assistant at SCSU for 18 years prior and played basketball for the Huskies before that. Cory was an assistant on Kevin's staff for 6 years and credits Kevin and his father for being a big influence on his coaching style and the way to approaches the game.
Albany's only loss came to top seeded Holy Family Catholic as part of the Granite City Classic. Schlagel says they intentionally created a tough non conference schedule to get them ready for the post season.
If you'd like to listen to my conversation with Cory Schlagel it is available below.