Things just weren’t going right for the Sleepy Eye Public boys basketball team on Dec. 20 in Sleepy Eye.

Mankato Loyola 66, Sleepy Eye Public 48

Things just weren’t going right for the Sleepy Eye Public boys basketball team on Dec. 20 in Sleepy Eye.

The Indians played without senior Juan Montemayor in the game, and were out-scored 32-17 in the first half which was too much of a deficit to come by. The Crusaders were relentless on offense, passing well and getting numerous opportunities under the basket. Meanwhile, Sleepy Eye couldn’t get any runs going as Loyola’s defense was even better than their offense. The Crusaders were physical under the hoop which forced the Indians to shoot from the outside. Not to mention, Mankato scored in transition on multiple accounts due to steals and turnovers.

“Loyola’s a good team,” Sleepy Eye Coach Brian Polesky said. “They were quick, they did a nice job defensively obviously to hold us down; we didn’t shoot very well but that’s a credit to them and the way they play defense.”

A three pointer by senior Spencer Weicherding cut the lead to 17-29 with under a minute to go in the first, but the Crusaders responded with a three to end the half.

Sleepy Eye picked up its pace in the second half. Weicherding made a three to start the half which gave the Indians some much-needed momentum. Sleepy Eye stepped up on defense which gave the offense more chances to score. Mankato’s lead was cut to 10 on multiple accounts, only for the Crusaders to score even more. But after a couple of threes by senior Austin Trebesch, the Indians pulled closer. With eight minutes left, senior Brandon Polesky made a jump shot which cut the lead to just five at 40-45. But Loyola wasn’t going to give up the game, as it went on a huge run late in the half which sealed the deal.

Brandon Polesky, who was named KNUJ’s Player of the Week in boys basketball, led Sleepy Eye with 20 points, seven rebounds, and made seven of eight free throws. Weicherding was behind him at 10 points, while Trebesch had seven points and five rebounds. Junior Ruben Astorga made seven points and had five rebounds on the night.