After a rocky start to the season, the Crusader girls’ basketball team picked up two wins last week over Rockford and conference rival Sibley East. Mayer Lutheran has now gone from a losing record, 1-2, to a winning season, standing at 3-2.

Mayer 56, Rockford 46
Compared to the first weeks of the season, Mayer Lutheran head coach Kris Gustin said the team played better against Rockford on Dec. 4, with many good looks at the basket.

The Crusaders held a narrow 32-26 halftime lead that they extended to ten in the second half, shooting at 36 percent both in field goals and free throws. Mayer Lutheran won the battle of the boards, pulling down 48 rebounds to Rockford’s 28. Senior Nico Schmidt and junior Lauren Manteuffel both pulled down 11 boards. Junior Josie Peters had 10 rebounds, followed by senior Tina Bruggman (6).

Senior Nico Schmidt goes for the basket on Nov. 29.
Senior Nico Schmidt goes for the basket on Nov. 29.

Manteuffel and Peters also led in scoring, with 16 and 14 points, respectively. Schmidt contributed 10 points to the Crusaders’ victory. Manteuffel and senior Ashlyn Hucky each grabbed four steals.

Mayer 44, Sibley East 32
In their first conference game, and on the road nonetheless, the Crusaders defeated Sibley East 44-32 on Dec. 7.

Gustin said the team defense improved, disrupting the Wolverines’ offense. The Crusaders led 26-14 at halftime, and while both teams scored 18 points in the second half, Mayer Lutheran held on for the victory. Manteuffel led the offensive effort with 20 points, followed by Hucky (10) and Schmidt (8). Hucky had six steals.

Of the team’s 25 rebounds, Schmidt (8) and Manteuffel (7) collected 15. Peters and senior Holly Johnson each had four.

With the two wins, Gustin said he feels the team is starting to get on track.

“We’re glad to win two games in a week, those are important,” he said. “But we’ve got some things we need to fix.”

First and foremost, the team needs to improve on shooting percentage, both from the floor and the free throw line, according to Gustin.