Both the Indians and the Knights went 1-1 at the St. Mary’s girls basketball tip off tournament last weekend.
Both Sleepy Eye teams played against the 3AA team of Jackson County Central along with the 4A team of Christ’s Household of Faith. The tournament kicked off on Nov. 29 with Sleepy Eye Public facing off with CHOF.
The Lions put on early pressure and out-shot the Indians 22-20 in the first half. Sleepy Eye coach Ryan Hulke said the first half was a struggle.
“We just couldn’t get going in the first half,” Hulke said. “We gave up too many offensive boards which didn’t allow us to get out and run the floor for some easy buckets, and we turned it over too many times which gave CHOF easy baskets.”
However, the Indians picked up the pace in the second half. More rebounds, better passing, and better defense led to a 28-15 second half with Sleepy Eye on top. The Indians made sure not to let the Lions get a late run and claimed their first win, 48-37.
Sophomore Josie Schieffert led the team with 19 points and 16 rebounds. Behind her were juniors Justine Gonzalez and McKayla Ahlrich who had seven points apiece with Ahlrich adding 11 rebounds. Senior Claire Krumbach had six points with 10 rebounds and led in blocks with four.
Twenty-five minutes after the game, it was St. Mary’s turn to play where the Knights battled JCC. It was a tight game from start to finish and once again the Sleepy Eye team struggled in the first half, losing in points 21-26. Just like the Indians, the Knights stepped up their game in the second half and showed better shooting and communication. St. Mary’s out-shot the Huskies by nine points in the second half and was able to make the clutch free throws in the final seconds to win it 49-45. St. Mary’s coach Bruce Woitas said his team was a little rusty, but the girls came through in the end.
“A game full of fouls by both teams, which is common on a first game of the season,” Woitas said. “Even though it was not a smooth game our kids fought hard to the end to get a nice win.”
Junior Becca Schmitz had 13 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Knights. Junior Sabrina Portner had 11 points and nine rebounds while senior Jamie Marti scored nine points.
Page 2 of 2 - It was a tough Saturday for both teams. St. Mary’s started the day with a 46-54 loss to the Lions. CHOF scored 33 points in the first while the Knights were held to only 18. St. Mary’s struggled with its shooting, making only 18 out of 46 attempted two-pointers. The Knights cut the lead to three with only two minutes remaining, but the Lions excelled in their free throws which ended the game.
“We need to come out ready to play,” Woitas said. “I felt that we were very flat on defense in the first half.”
Portner led the team with 14 points and seven rebounds while Schmitz had 13 points and eight rebounds.
The final game of the tournament was a close one between the Indians and the Huskies. Sleepy Eye had a great first half and had a 10 point lead but gave it up in the second when JCC out-scored the Indians 43-29. Krumbach led with 15 points, eight rebounds, and three blocks while Gonzalez and Madison Heiderscheidt combined for 21 points. Sleepy Eye fell 53-57 in the end.
“We did have a chance to tie with six seconds left but didn’t get the entry we wanted which resulted in a turnover giving JCC the ball with a two point lead,” Hulke said.