"You'll never get ahead if you don't take care of what you have." - Doris Waddell, RIP

A historic building on our U of M-Morris campus - morris mn

A historic building on our U of M-Morris campus - morris mn
The multi-ethnic building was the original home of the music department at UMM. (B.W. photo)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Sauk Centre girls end up No. 2 in state hoops

Streeters 67, N-YA 45
Sauk Centre made Section 6AA proud in the post-season. The Streeter girls climbed through the various state levels. They ended up just shy of the state title. They carried the 6AA banner into state where first they played Norwood-Young America. This quarter-final game was close in the first half, not so close in the second.
I use the name "Streeters" but the formal name is "Mainstreeters." Let's all remember Sinclair Lewis.
The Sauk Centre girls shot 34 percent in the first half versus N-YA, then got hot in the second to the tune of 65 percent. The 67-45 win was the 30th of the season for this high-flying unit. It was also win No. 28 in a row. Wow! Along the way they beat the dynastic New London-Spicer Wildcats for the Section 6AA title. Sauk was top-seeded for state.
The Streeters made six of eight 3-point shot tries over the last 18 minutes in the state quarter-final game. The second half was really key, especially a seven-minute span. When that span was done, the Streeters had a commanding 22-point lead.
Kelsey Peschel, just a freshman, topped Sauk's scoring on the night with 17 points, eleven of which came in the second half. Madison Moritz was a monster rebounder, snaring 16. She led her team to a 40-25 advantage in rebounds.
The Raiders of Norwood-Young America were led by Kali Grimm, a freshman, who put in 12 points.
 
Streeters 54, Minnehaha 49
Sauk Centre's next mission was to play Minnehaha Academy. Now we're in the state semis. Minnehaha had size as an attribute. They're known for having physical guards. They used that attribute to cause Sauk Centre problems in the first half. Sauk's shooting was off in the first half. However, Sauk Centre picked up freethrow attempts as a result of Minnehaha's physical nature.
Sauk made ten of 12 freethrow tries in the first half, and they were in quite decent shape at halftime. The score was 31-29 with Sauk in the lead.
The game stayed close in the second half. Minnehaha guards Sarah Kaminski and Gracia Gilreath were a force to be reckoned with. They dealt a physical brand of play which, like in the first half, can result in the opponent getting freethrows. This happened in the second half. Sauk Centre was able to gain the edge it needed via this.
Madison Moritz shot freethrows in the clutch late. For the whole game, Madison was eight of eight in freethrows. She wasn't as sharp shooting field goals. She cited the physical nature of the game as a limiting factor. "Luckily we made our freethrows," she was quoted saying.
Sisters Mauren and Maesyn Thiesen were standouts in Sauk's 54-49 win. The Thiesen family moved from Becker to Sauk Centre over the summer. Mauren Thiesen scored 14 points vs. Minnehaha. Maesyn Thiesen put in 12. "I'm glad they're here now and I'm glad they're on our team," Moritz said.
 
Dover-Eyota 71, Streeters 58
The state finals matched those Mainstreeters against Dover-Eyota. Dover-Eyota was the No. 2 state seed. That storied arena on the U of M campus - Williams Arena - was the venue.
Could Sauk Centre make it 30 wins in a row? It wasn't to be. Dover-Eyota was the 71-58 winner. Those Eagles showed poise, never seeming overwhelmed by the elite situation. Their junior center Megan Hintz overcame foul worries and ended up with 24 points scored. Plus she collected 17 rebounds. She carried four fouls.
But it was Eagle Brandi Blattner who led all scorers with 25 points. Brandi is a senior guard. She also contributed 14 rebounds. Madison Nelson, junior guard, had 15 points and 15 rebounds.
Sauk Centre was in fact flirting with victory, owning a 55-51 lead with just under six minutes left. The Eagles went on a 13-0 run.
The Streeters were uncharacteristically erratic in shooting. The Thiesen sisters held then own, as Maesyn scored 23 points and Mauren 14. Together they made five of the team's seven 3-pointers. But Sauk's team numbers in 3's were quite off. Dover-Eyota did well collecting rebounds off those missed shots. My, they out-rebounded the Streeters 71-32! That's astounding. And yet Sauk had that late lead.
Hintz was quoted saying this game was the type in which her team feels comfortable. "We usually put up quite a few points and rebounds," she said.
The books are closed on Sauk Centre's season with an abundance of special memories having been made. Just imagine Sinclair Lewis writing about it!
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

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