So much was on the line for both teams, when the Indian girls hosted the St. Mary’s Knights, Tuesday night. Both teams sat 4-1 in the conference, with this game determining who would sit at the top for the week.

So much was on the line for both teams, when the Indian girls hosted the St. Mary’s Knights, Tuesday night. Both teams sat 4-1 in the conference, with this game determining who would sit at the top for the week.

Indians 62

Knights 60

While the Knights have a had a great run so far this season, they were facing a team with many seasoned vets in the Indians.

Within the opening minutes, the Indians built up a 21-5 lead over the Knights, with the first three plays coming from Madi Heiderscheidt for six points. “We made the right passes and the right shots,” Heiderscheidt said.

For the Knights, Mallory Helget sank a three-pointer and Madison Mathiowetz put up back to back shots, starting the Knights on the road to closing the deficit. “We found ourselves down by 17 points early, then had to fight our way back into the game,” said Knights coach Bruce Woitas. “I liked the heart we showed tonight.”

It came down to the foul calls in this game. St. Mary’s got the benefit of 13 fouls by the Indians in the first half. With seven minutes left on the clock, Coach Hulke had multiple players at risk of the bench.

Back on offense, St. Mary’s sank nine of 11 free throws, keeping them in the game. Mathiowetz and Cassie Heinrichs kept the Knights on the board in the first half, scoring 16 of the 31 points between them. “We tried to shut everything else out,” Heinrichs said. “You tell yourself ‘it’s just like practice’.” The Indians held their lead in large part due to Heiderscheidt, Brianna Polesky and McKenzie Cselovszki.

Cselovszki, from under the hoop, sunk three shots for six points. “We needed this win because it’s a conference win,” Cselovszki said.

In the second half, the foul trouble continued, with both teams picking up 12 more each.

The Knights, already undermanned, lost Mathiowetz. Meanwhile for the Indians, Heiderscheidt hit two threes and found the hoop on all four of her turns at the free throw line. “I just wanted to be the player that my team could trust with the ball,” said Heiderscheidt. “It was a bittersweet win, but a good team win.” In spite of the loss of their heavy hitter, the Knights kept it close, sending up four three-pointers—one from Cassie Heinrichs and three from Mallory Helget. “We didn’t win, but we were close with them,” Heinrichs said. “We felt really good about that.”

With time running out the Knights needed to sink a three-pointer to push for overtime. The Indians forced them to the foul line several times and kept the lead at two points, in spite of shots from Hansen and Windschitl.

Heiderscheidt led the Indians with 26 points, five assists and six rebounds. Polesky contributed nine points, followed by Cselovszki with eight points, six rebounds.

Heinrichs was the top performer for the Knights with 20 points and three rebounds. Helget put up 14 points and two rebounds, followed by Mathiowetz with 12 points and three steals.

The Indians now sit 5-1 in the conference, while the Knights fall back to 4-2.

The Indians travel to Winthrop to take on GFW Thursday, Jan. 11 at 7:30 p.m.

The Knights hit the road to challenge MVL Friday, Jan. 12 at 7:30 p.m.