The Mayer Lutheran girls’ basketball team wrapped up the regular season on Feb. 19 with a 66-48 loss at No. 7 (2A) Annandale.
The Crusaders held with Annandale for much of the first half, and even opened a six point lead midway through. The Cardinals changed defensive strategies midway through the half and were able to shut down the LHS offense.
With five minutes to play in the half and LHS holding a four-point lead over the Cardinals, Annandale went on an 11-0 run to lead 28-21 at halftime at the hands of senior guard Kaytlin Keufler. Keufler scored the last 18 points for the Cardinals in the first half, and the last 11 points for either team. She would end the night with 37 points.
LHS head coach Kris Gustin said the Crusaders did well to contain Keufler early in the game, but an open look at a three-point shot was all that was needed to start Keufler’s hot shooting night.
“When you give good
scorers open looks, all that does is grow confidence for them,” Gustin said.
He said when the Crusaders came out flat in the second half, Annandale increase its intensity and was able to outscore LHS 38-27.
“They just came out and took it to us in the second half,” Gustin said.
During the game, the Crusaders shot 36 percent from two-point range (19-53) and made just one of nine three-point attempts. In contrast, the Cardinals shot roughly the same from two-point range (23-61), but were able to sink 7-15 three-pointers, which made all the difference. Turnovers was also a lopsided battle, with Mayer Lutheran committing 31 to Annandale’s 15.
Junior Lauren Manteuffel led the Crusaders with 23 points. Senior Nico Schmidt scored 10 points, followed by senior Tina Bruggman (6), junior Krianna Boelke (4), sophomore Brenna Larsen (3), and junior Josie Peters (2).
Schmidt (11) and Manteuffel (8) collected most of the team’s 38 rebounds. Bruggman (5), Boelke (4), and Peters (4) also had multiple boards. Manteuffel (2), Schmidt (1), and Peters (1) totaled the team’s four blocks.
The Crusaders snagged nine steals by the hot hands of senior Emily Johnson (2), junior Shelby Sicheneder (2), Manteuffel (2), Schmidt (2), and senior Ashlyn Hucky (1).
The Crusaders received the No. 4 seed in Section 5AA – South play and will host No. 5 Watertown-Mayer tonight, Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. The winner advances to face No. 1 Providence Academy on Saturday, March 2 at Dassel-Cokato High School. Game begins at 6 p.m.
Gustin said the Royals are a well coached and talented team that will keep the game interesting if shots are made. With senior Hannah Johnson back from injury, “a lot of things could change,” Gustin said.
The Crusaders have defeated the Royals twice this season, the first a 72-60 win on Jan. 15 and then a 60-40 victory Feb. 15. But anything can happen this time around, according to Gustin.
“It’s always tough to play somebody three times and to beat somebody three times,” he said.
Contact Melissa Marohl at email@example.com