The Sleepy Eye Indians girls' basketball team got their season started this past weekend in the annual St. Mary's Tip-Off Tournament. Cleveland, Central MN Christian, and St. Mary's also participated.
Indians coach Ryan Hulke emphasized before the game started the importance of his team’s focus going into the season opener Friday night. All of the shots in summer, the time spent in the weight room, all of the little things would begin for 26 regular season games.
The Indians led by Madi Krueger would get out to a fast start early and had control of the game with a 39-21 lead at the half.
The Indians showed a slight lapse of focus in the second half as turnovers and missed opportunities plagued the Indians from extending their lead to close out the game for good in the second half. The Clippers inched their way back late, but the Indians proved to be too much in the end, never allowing Cleveland to get that game within eight points.
Krueger led the Lady Indians with 19 points, six steals, five assists, and eight rebounds. Also contributing for the Indians Friday night was Leslie Flores with 10 points and seven rebounds. Senior Macy Schenk also added 11 points and five boards of her own. Freshman Brooklyn Moldan played well in her varsity debut filling the stat sheet with nine points, six rebounds, and five blocks.
MN Christian 43
The Indians came into the 2018-19 season knowing they had big holes to fill on both sides of the court. Saturday afternoon some of that showed. The lack of experience at the varsity level bit the Indians a bit too often. Despite Madi Krueger’s 17 points and six rebounds, the Indians could never get anything going collectively on offense.
The Indians climbed back into the game with a three-pointer from freshman Kaydince Thoms to bring the score to 27-24 with just under ten minutes remaining. The Indians used ball pressure and a full-court trap defense to make a run late in addition to Thoms’ three-pointer.
Turnovers and failure to get that key stop and bucket led to the Indians falling by a final of 43-34 to Central Minnesota Christian. Coach Hulke looks for the oncoming games to improve on that. “We need to learn more basketball IQ and how and when to make the correct plays,” he added. “We don’t see a lot of what the defense is baiting into us right now.”
The Indians will begin conference play next Thursday night, Nov 29 as they travel to Wabasso at 7:30 p.m.