Monday night was a good time for Holy Angels boys basketball fans to see Charlie Koontz score 28 points to lead the Stars to a 61-50 win over the defending Class AA champion Minnehaha Academy Redhawks in Richfield.
The game didn't start with a jump ball because the Redhawks were assessed with a technical foul after Simeon Davis was hanging on the rim during the 20 minute warm up. Instead, the Stars Taylor Bongiovanni headed to the free throw to shoot two shots and he made them both. Jake Richardson tied the game at two for Minnehaha Academy and Holy Angels went on a 7-0 run. But the big story in the first half was Koontz. the 6'6" senior was hitting shots from numerous spots. He hit from inside, the free throw line and even a three point play. The Redhawks bounced back to take the lead 26-25 and Holy Angels went back in front on free throws from Sam Boehne. Holy Angels led 29-26 at the half.
The Stars began the second half on a 5-0 run, which also included a three point play from Koontz. Evan Beeson hit a jumper to increase their lead to 11. The Redhawks, who lost nine players from last year's state championship team to graduation, used defensive pressure on Holy Angels but they couldn't get the margin into single figures due to fouls that sent the Stars to the free throw line. Their 6'8" center Joey Poehling brought the crowd to life when he scored on a right handed fast break dunk.
The only other player to score in double figures for Holy Angels was BonGiovanni, who added 13 points. Richardson and Simeon Davis led Minnehaha academy with 11 points apiece.
One of the new players on the Redhawks this season is 6'6" eighth grader JaVonni Bickham. Head Coach Lance Johnson commented on Bickham's development.
"Awesome. He's gonna be a great player."
Holy Angels won their second straight game over a team from last year's state tournament. Last Saturday, they beat the Hayfield Vikings in the Breakdown Sports Tip Off Classic at Minnetonka High School. The win increased their record to 3-4 and won't play until December 27 and 28 in the Catholic Spirit Tournament at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. Minnehaha Academy lost their fourth consecutive game and will host St. Agnes on Friday, December 20 at 7 PM.