Cross-town basketball game is electric, Knights come out on top

Deb Moldaschel
The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch

According to our photographer, the atmosphere in St. Mary's gym was "electric" on Monday night, Jan. 3, when the local boys faced off in the cross-town basketball game. And in classic cross-town manner the game did not reflect the teams' records going in. With the Knights ranked number 1 on MN Basketball Hub and the Indians yet to catch a win, it was the Indians who came out fast in the first half, holding on for a halftime lead of 23-21.

Indian Erizen Traconis (1) drives in on Knights Trent Steffensmeier (22) and Carson Domeier while Trey Heidersheidt (11) sets up for the rebound.

In the second half the Knights picked up their game and got the win over a determined Indians team, 64-52. The Knights scored 20 points from the free throw line, really picking up their accuracy in the second half.

Knights Carson Domeier shoots over Erizen Traconis as teammates Caden Evers (on floor), Mason Sellner (14) and Marcus Martinez (52) watch.

"I give Sleepy Eye a lot of credit, those kids played extremely hard and executed well," said Knights Head Coach Judd Walter. "As much as I was frustrated with our energy and how we started the game, I was pleased with how we responded. Games like this are good in pointing out things we need to improve on to be playing well late in the year."

For the Knights: Carson Domeier - 21 points, 7 rebounds, 6 steals. Trent Steffensmeier - 16 points, 9 rebounds. Caleb Wait - 12 points.

For the Indians: Mason Sellner - 14 points, 4 steals, 2 assists. Marcus Martinez - 11 points, 2 rebounds, 4 steals, 2 assists. Zach Ziegenhagen - 9 points, 1 assist. Erizen Traconis, 6 points, 1 assist, 5 rebounds, 1 steal. Trey Heiderscheidt - 7 rebounds. Chad Evers - 5 rebounds.

Indians Head Coach Shane Heiderscheidt liked his team's effort again and is looking for that first win. "We play really good defense as a team and that’s what is keeping us in games," he said. "We just need to start knocking down open shots on the offensive end. I think we missed 17 shots inside the paint area Monday night. And St. Mary’s didn’t. Effort is never a problem with our kids. We give 110% all the time. St. Mary’s is a good team and we played well against them! So hopefully we can continue to get better and our shots will start to fall. Then we can start winning some of these close games."

The Indians host GFW Thursday night. The Knights host BLHS Friday night.