After what some say was a disastrous first half, the St. Mary's boys basketball team made an exciting comeback and beat Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City 81-78 in the Section 2A quarter-final in Mankato on March 7.
How dreadful was the first half? The Knights went 1-21 in 3-point field goal attempts for starters.
"It was frustrating," senior Kansas Adams said. "That first 16 minutes of the game was I'd say, the ugliest we played all year."
St. Mary's was behind by 5-10 points for most of the first half, and struggled with their offensive game. However, the Knights were only down 26-36 at the half.
"The way we played in the first half we thought we were fortunate to only be down by 10," coach Tim Milliard said.
Although the Knights had a rough first half, they weren't ready to be done quite yet.
St. Mary's came out of the locker room at half and played like a completely different team.
"We were moving a lot better in the second half, we were getting open layups, and we started knocking down some threes and that helps a lot," senior Sean Mathiowetz said. "We got a couple steals, big turnovers and key possessions, and that's big for us when we get some transition hoops."
It wasn't until five minutes remaining in the game when St. Mary's took the lead for the first time, 63-62. This was after executing a lot of foul opportunities and making a few 3-pointers in order to catch up to ACGC.
It is Adam's final year with the team and he said this was his motivation to continue fighting back into the game.
"I kept on saying to Sean, 'I'm not ready to be done yet, are you?' you know, like this is it," Adams said. "I mean you're used to saying, 'Oh we'll be better next year,' but for me Sean and Jordan we can't even say tomorrow if we slip up so I just kept my head up and kept playing."
Milliard said one of the key factors in their win was staying strong mentally, especially after having such a tough first half.
"The kids really mentally stayed strong and played the whole game and that's what it came down to," Milliard said. "We're just excited that we advanced and get a chance to play again."
St. Mary's — Kansas Adams 14, Jordan Anderson 18, John Brandl 7, Mike Hirsch 11, Sean Mathiowetz 20, Jared Rothmeier 9, David Surprenant 2. Totals: (FG FTM-FTA TP): 22 29-42 81.
26 55 — 81
36 42 — 78
3-point goals: St. Mary's 8 (Adams 2, Anderson 2, Mathiowetz, Rothmeier 3)
Page 2 of 2 - Total fouls: St. Mary's 18, ACGC— 28.