The wins just keep coming for the Sleepy Eye Indian’s girls basketball team. The team has also also demonstrated that they are a far better team than their seventh seed would have many believe. For the second time in just three days thee Indians have knocked off a higher seeded team. First was the upset of the second seeded, Minnesota Valley Lutheran in what was a very dramatic finish. Most recently, Sleepy Eye closed the book on the third seeded New Ulm Cathedral Greyhounds season, beating them on Friday night by a score of 57-42.
From a journalistic perspective, the game wasn’t necessarily the type of game from which great stories emerge. From a fan’s perspective, however, it was a great game.
The first half was marked by great defense and a lot of missed shots from both sides.
“We were outstanding on the defensive end. We had a game plan going in and the girls communicated and took away passing lanes so Cathedral couldn’t reverse the ball to get their flex offense going,” Head coach Ryan Hulke commented.
“New Ulm played a 1-2-2 matchup and really got in our faces up top. Offensively we were not great but good enough in the half court to score when needed.”
Sleepy Eye jumped to an early lead and never looked back. Cathedral tied things up at 17 each with 38 seconds to play in half one, but a basket and a pair of foul shots by Claire Krumbach put the Indians back on top, 21-17 as the teams headed to the locker rooms.
The Indians continued to grow the lead in half number two, helped in big part by player of the game, Justine Gonzalez, converting Cathedral turnovers into points. Gonzalez finished the night with seven steals and 10 points.
The closest the Hounds came to gaining the lead was midway into the second half when they inched their way into within three making the score 33-30, but they couldn’t get any closer than that.
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As the game moved towards the final buzzer, Hulke was loudly telling his team to be patient and not force things. Words that, in the end, paid off huge for the team. The steals kept coming, the baskets began finding the bottom of the net and the lead continued to increase and at the end of the night Sleepy Eye walked away with a 57-42 defeat of the New Ulm Cathedral Greyhounds.
“Our defense really created offense for us in the second half and that was the key factor. Justine Gonzalez had her best game recording seven steals in which three were converted for layups,” Hulke commented.
“Obviously this is unexplored territory for the girls. But having the crowd we had Friday night really helps them get thru tough times. It was absolutely amazing walking into the gym at 6:15 Friday and our fan section of the gym was already full, and the cheers we got walking on to the floor and to the locker room. That is what makes these games so much fun!” He concluded.
The Indians shot 46% from the floor, and were an amazing 89% from the free throw line, which paid off down the stretch. Claire Krumbach led the team in scoring with 14 points. She also added five steals and a pair of assists. Sydney Remus added 11 points, pulled in 11 rebounds and shot a perfect six for six from the line. Justine Gonzalez added 10 points and pulled down 10 rebounds and racked up seven steals.
Next up for the Indians is top seeded Buffalo Lake/Hector/Stewart. This game will be played at Gustavus on Monday night at 5 p.m.
See the March 8 edition of the Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch for more complete, and properly edited, coverage of this, and all Sleepy Eye playoff action.
For live in game tweets, follow @SEPSSports2 on Twitter.