The lady Indians basketball team headed to Madelia last Tuesday night and had no trouble adding another win, closing out the regular season.
At the end of the night the Indians had defeated the Blackhawks by a convincing 67-21 final score and bumping their record to 15-10 on the season.
“It’s hard to get the girls focused knowing you are playing a 0-24 team. So we set a couple team goals prior to the game to make sure we had something to strive for,” Head coach Ryan Hulke said of the game.
McKayla Ahlrich had a good all around game off the bench scoring 16 points, 12 which came in the first half.
“As a coach it’s always great to see the girls that do all the little things and don’t complain have the great night scoring as McKayla did Tuesday. She’s a hard worker with a bright future and I am excited she’s only a freshman,” Hulke complimented.
With six assists Carissa Hillmer has tied the Girls Basketball Career Assist record with 300, and has a high probability of breaking that mark in the first round of the playoffs against Minnesota Valley Lutheran.
“This record is something Carissa has had in the back of her head all year. She was constantly asking how many more and that goes to show what kind of player she is. She’s a pass first person, that wants to make others better and you can’t have a good team without a point guard like Carissa, she will really be missed next year,” Hulke concluded.
Leading the team’s efforts were, McKayla Alrich with 16 points and 7 rebounds. Sydney Remus contributed 15 points, 4 assists and 4 steals. Jessica Busch put in 12 points and had 4 steals. And Claire Krumbach added 9 points and came down with 11 rebounds.
The Indians then traveled to New Ulm on Tuesday evening for round one of the playoffs to take on the number two seeded, Minnesota Valley Lutheran Chargers.
The only way to describe this game is; wow!
Sleepy Eye entered into the game seeded seventh. They were the underdogs, but didn’t live up to that.
MVL jumped out to take the lead early in the game and narrowly held on to the lead for much of the first half of the game until McKayla Ahlrich tied things up at the end of the first half. The teams headed into the locker room knotted up at 22 each.
The second half was a battle the entire way, seeing multiple lead changes in just the first four minutes of the half.
The Chargers went on a run and gained the largest lead of the half midway through the second half as they took a 38-32 lead with about eight minutes to play.
Sleepy Eye continued to battle their way into the game, and took the lead away from the Chargers with a bucket from Claire Krumbach from underneath putting the Indians on top 42-40 with 3:20 to go.
Sleepy Eye began to get sloppy and make bad passes and turned the ball over twice giving MVL two easy baskets, and the 46-42 lead with 2:40 remaining in the game.
Again, SEPS fought their way back into a 48-46 lead, when they committed a foul, sending MVL?to the free throw line, where they tied things up again with 33 seconds to go.
Time ticked away to the 3.3 second mark and the game appeared to be headed to a sure overtime.
What ensued was nothing short of amazing. Try to follow, keeping in mind this all took place in 3.3 seconds.
SEPS had the ball, tossed the ball in, made a downcourt pass, turned the ball over to MVL (1.1 seconds left), MVL, rather than keeping the ball and forcing the overtime, throws the ball directly to Jessica Busch who puts up a game winning shot as the horn sounded. Sleepy Eye walked away with the 50-48 upset and putting an end to the season for the MVL Chargers.
Leading the scoring for Sleepy Eye was Claire Krumbach with 14. Sydney Remus added 11. Carissa Hillmer made 8, including back to back three pointers in the first half. Jessica Busch may have only had four, but two of those four were quite possibly, the biggest two points of her career.
Sleepy Eye heads back to New Ulm on Friday night to take on the New Ulm Cathedral Greyhounds at 7 p.m.
For complete playoff brackets, log on to www.sleepyeyenews.com/sports