Sleepy Eye Public School played host to a boys basketball tournament last weekend where four varsity games were played.

Sleepy Eye Public School played host to a boys basketball tournament last weekend where four varsity games were played.

Both Sleepy Eye schools had a chance to play against the non-conference teams of Murray County Central from Slayton, along with Prairie Seeds Academy from the Twin Cities.

“I thought it was good to play somebody different from the conference,” St. Marys Coach Tim Milliard said. “You know we’re so familiar with everybody in the conference and what they do so it’s just nice to play MCC and PSA.”

The Knights won both of their games over the weekend, which is why both Milliard and senior Mike Hirsch believe the team is showing improvement.

“I feel like we’re coming together a little bit by little bit every game,” Hirsch said. “So hopefully we can reach our full potential.”

The first game of the weekend was a 69-58 St. Mary’s victory over MCC on Dec. 6. The starting five for the Knights were able to get the early lead advantage in the first half which continued in the second. St. Mary’s defense did well against the tall players of MCC, while the offense was shooting well all night.

Senior John Brandl led the Knights in points with 16, while juniors Payton Adams and Jared Rothmeier added 14 and 12, respectively.

St. Mary’s added to its successful weekend with a 100-80 win over PSA on Dec. 7. The Knights shot and rebounded well on offense while their defense forced the Lycans to shoot from the outside. Although St. Mary’s had a 12 point lead at half, PSA quickened its pace in the second half and showed tighter, more physical defense which resulted in multiple scores in transition, but the Knights held on to win. Hirsch led St. Mary’s with 26 points while Adams had 22.

Meanwhile, the Sleepy Eye Public team went 1-1 during the tourney. The first game for the Indians was an exciting 91-78 win over the Lycans. It was a back-and-forth game throughout, with PSA taking an early 10 point lead in the first. But Sleepy Eye rallied back to take its own 10 point lead in the first and led 38-34 at half. The Indians simply out-scored PSA in the second half. Sleepy Eye also made 21 of 22 free throws in the physical game which was a crucial aspect in the win.

Senior Brandon Polesky led the team with a triple-double, after he accumulated 34 points, 16 rebounds, and 11 assists during the game. He also had three steals. Brandon Polesky was named MN Buckets Player of the Day from the win over the Lycans. Meanwhile, senior Austin Trebesch and sophomore Isaiah had 18 points and four rebounds apiece.

“Hopefully a win like this will give us confidence as we start conference play next week,” Sleepy Eye Coach Brian Polesky said.

The next day, the Indians lost to the Rebels 58-63. The shots just weren’t going in for either team in the low-scoring first half. MCC had a tall center, which gave Sleepy Eye some problems on offense. After leading 27-24, the Rebels put the pressure on and made it a 10 point lead in the second. But the Indians were able to come back and tie it at 56. With 16 seconds left, Sleepy Eye trailed 58-61 but was given the ball after Brandon Polesky made a huge block on defense. But the Indians failed to score in the final seconds and fell 58-63.

Brandon Polesky had 28 points and 11 rebounds with Trebesch and senior Juan Montemayor behind him at 12 and 10 points, respectfully.

“Last night we played very well, moved the ball well, shot very well,” Coach Polesky said. “Today we were kind of stagnant a little bit but I thought the guys effort was there. We fought hard to the end and we just came up short.”