The Wildcats took the South crown but couldn't parlay that into the section championship. Instead it's the Sauk Centre Mainstreeters carrying the 6AA banner into state play. The Streeters now enjoy an incredible win skein of 26. Naturally they are ranked No. 1 in state (Class AA).
Holy mackerel, the sizzling Streeters scored the final 17 points of the first half. They continued taking care of business in the second half, finally winning in the 56-40 final. The site was Halenback Hall on the campus of St. Cloud State University (my alma mater).
Let's emphasize that Sauk didn't own the whole game versus NL-Spicer. With five and a half minutes left in the first half, Sauk Centre trailed by nine points. They hadn't scored in six minutes. Coach Scott Bergman of Sauk Centre called a timeout. It's never good to get down by double figures versus those Wildcats. The ship had to be righted.
What a turnaround! Whatever Bergman told his charges, it infused tons of vitality. Momentum took off for those Streeters. My, they took off with those 17 unanswered points. Coach Berman later said he felt the timeout was simply therapeutic as "a break."
The Streeters are now readying for state. The site will be Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis, Wednesday.
Those Wildcats of NL-Spicer can feel satisfaction with their 24-win season. The squad had just one senior starter back in the fold. The loss of seniors off last year's state team didn't take the kind of toll some might have expected. Last year, NL-Spicer beat Sauk Centre in overtime in the section title affair.
This season the Wildcats handed the Streeters their only regular season loss, on December 9. NL-Spicer finished the season with a 24-5 record - numbers that would surely be relished by our MACA Tigers. Maybe in the future? We'll see.
Sauk Centre goes to state with a 28-1 record. They were nine of ten in freethrows in the section title game. In total field goals they were 19 of 45. They made noise with three-pointers. Maesyn Thiesen made three long-rangers. Jill Klaphake made two, and Madison Greenwaldt and Kelsey Peschel each made one.
Madison Moritz led in three categories: rebounds (8), assists (5) and steals (5). It was Thiesen at the top of the scoring list with 15 points. Klaphake put in 12 points. The list continues with Moritz (9), Peschel (7), Mauren Thiesen (6), Rebecca Weir (4) and Greenwaldt (3).
NL-Spicer got just seven freethrow attempts and made four. They were 17 of 36 in total field goals. Megan Thorson, whose time on the bench (due to fouls) might have been a factor in NL-Spicer's fading, finished with 20 points scored. Shea Oman scored ten points. Alyssa Fredrick put in seven, Ashlyn Geister had two and Brooke Beuning one.
Fredrick canned two 3-pointers. Geister snared eight rebounds and Thorson had five. Kabrie Weber dished out four assists. Oman and Thorson each had three steals. Now it's on to state for the surging Streeters of Sauk Centre.
- Brian Williams - morris mn Minnesota - firstname.lastname@example.org