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Eagles felled by last-second shot

Evan Atkinson of the Eagles soars to the basket for two points late in the game against Southwest Christian. John Molene / Contributor 1 / 2
New Life Academy's Drew Wynia splits the Southwest Christian defense for a second-half basket Friday, Jan. 12, 2018. John Molene / Contributor 2 / 2

New Life Academy battled all the way back from a 13-point second-half deficit Friday, Jan. 12, only to fall victim to a last-seconds shot in a tough 65-64 loss to visiting Southwest Christian.

It was a tough home-court loss for the Eagles who rallied from way back to take a 64-63 lead with 25 seconds left.

"It was a really tough one," Eagles head coach Kory Kiekhoefer said. "Our mission after this one is we're on to the next one. To us it's only losing if you're not learning. We're going to learn from this, learn from the mistakes that we made in this one. We're going to get better and we've got all eyes on Tuesday night for Trinity now."

New Life slipped to 7-4 on the season and 2-1 in the Minnesota Christian Athletic Association.

The Southwest Christian Stars improved to 7-5 and 3-1.

The teams were tied at 26-all at halftime, but Southwest Christian dominated the middle part of the second half and grabbed a 59-49 lead with 6:21 to play.

Senior center Drew Wynia led the Eagles charging back, driving to the basket time after time for short shots. Wynia's play led New Life to close to within 63-61 with 46 seconds left.

The Eagles then grabbed the lead as the Southwest Christian defense collapsed on Wynia and he spotted an open senior guard Mark Rygh and passed to him. Rygh buried a three-point goal to give New Life a 64-63 lead with 25 seconds to play.

But Southwest Christian called a time out and after passing the ball around the perimeter, spotted and opening and went in for the game-winner on a driving layup with about 3.5 seconds left. The Eagles were unable to get off a shot in the final seconds.

The Eagles hosted Trinity (7-5) Tuesday.

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