After weeks of biweekly basketball games, the Mayer Lutheran girls’ team got a break and had just one match up last week. In a conference game at LeSueur-Henderson on Jan. 10, the Crusaders won 65-32.
The Giants stayed with the Crusaders for much of the first half, according to head coach Kris Gustin, but the Crusaders endured near the end to post 18 unanswered points. Opening a large 39-18 halftime lead, the Crusaders sailed to victory by limiting the Giants to 14 second-half points, after starting the second on an 8-0 run.
“That really just kind of blew the game wide open,” Gustin said of the 26-0 run bridging halftime.
The Crusaders are still shooting below .500 and made 28 of 60 field goals Thursday night (47 percent). They made three (of nine) three point shots and were 6-14 from the free throw line (43 percent).
The Giants were even less fortunate in shooting. Although the team made 57 percent of their free throws (8-14), LeSueur-Henderson shot just 21 percent from two-point range (10-48).
Three Crusaders scored in double digits, including junior Lauren Manteuffel (13), and seniors Ashlyn Hucky (13) and Tina Bruggman (11).
Also scoring for LHS were seniors Nico Schmidt (8), Holly Johnson (3), and Emily Johnson (3), juniors Shelby Sicheneder (2), Maria Kuntz (2), and Josie Peters (2), and sophomore Brenna Larsen (3).
The Crusaders collected 38 rebounds to the Giants’ 31, led by Manteuffel (12) and Schmidt (10).
Manteuffel also had five blocked shots, while Kuntz had two. Manteuffel (6), Hucky (3), and Kuntz (2) gathered the team’s 11 steals.
Gustin said the team took care of the ball well and played good defense. Although LHS gave up 14 offensive rebounds, Gustin credits the blocked shots to the unpredictability of where a rebound with bounce.
The Crusaders will host Sibley East Jan. 18, before a game at NYA Central on Jan. 24.
Mayer Lutheran is now 8-7 overall this season. The Crusaders are 4-2 in the MRC.
Contact Melissa Marohl at firstname.lastname@example.org