The second half opened with MVL deploying a full court pressing defense that gave St. Mary’s a few problems at first. “We hadn’t seen a pressing defense for a while,” said coach Tim Millard. “Most of our opponents think we are too fast as a team to use that kind of defense against us. It took us a few minutes to figure out how to move the ball up court against the Chargers, but we eventually got untracked.” The Knights kept up the offensive pressure and continued to put forth a solid defensive effort. With three minutes remaining St. Mary’s had a 20-point lead. Both teams played their reserves to close out the game, making the final score of 87-78 a little closer than the game really was.
Afterwards, as the team cut down the nets and celebrated their championship, Milliard said that he was pleased with how well his team played all year, especially down the stretch when they put together a six-game winning streak. “Most of these players have been together since grade school and the first year on the varsity, as freshmen, was pretty rough so I’m very happy for them. Now we have to get ready for the sub-section playoffs. As the top seed we get a bye in the first round and we’ll be up against some good teams, but we play in a tough conference and should be ready.”
St. Mary’s game stats
19 points, 10 rebounds,
5 assists, 4 steals
Jon Milliard: 18 points
14 points, 6 rebounds
Nate Siemers had 24 points for the Chargers.
St. Mary’s last game of the regular season is against Lake-Crystal- Wellcome-Memorial at home Feb. 24.
The Knights are 19-4 overall and 14-2 in conference play.