The Mayer Lutheran girls’ basketball team got a great start to the St. Olaf Holiday Hoops Classic over the weekend, going 2-0 against Bethlehem Academy and St. Paul Highland Park.
Topping Bethlehem Academy 57-40 on Dec. 27, the Crusaders led by just three points at halftime, 23-20, before opening the game in the second half.
Shooting just 33 percent as a team, three Crusader players found themselves in double digit scoring, including seniors Lauren Manteuffel and Shelby Sicheneder, along with junior Maria Kuntz, who each netted 11 points for LHS. Senior Krianna Boelke added eight points to the Crusader effort, followed by junior Brenna Larsen (5) and freshman Emilee Gustin (5).
On defense, Manteuffel grabbed 11 rebounds to lead LHS, while Boelke (6) and Kuntz (5) were also forces to be had under the basket. Boelke (6) and Sicheneder (4) led the team in steals.
The next day, Manteuffel led the Crusaders to a 78-47 victory over St. Paul Highland Park, thanks to her 18 points. Larsen (10), Kuntz (9), Gustin (9), and sophomore Kalie Winter (8) rounded out the top scorers.
Leading 47-24 at halftime, the Crusaders outscored Highland Park 31-23 in the second half for the uncontested victory.
Mayer Lutheran’s shooting percentage dramatically improved from the first day of the tournament, soaring to 51 percent (29-56 shots made). They also were 19-27 (70 percent) from the free throw line.
With eight rebounds, Sicheneder led the Crusaders on defense, followed by Kuntz (7) and Manteuffel (6), while Winter (5), sophomore Maddy Miller (3), and Boelke (2) collected most of the team’s 12 steals.
The tournament concluded Monday, Dec. 30 as the Crusaders faced off against Providence Academy. Mayer Lutheran will return to action on Jan. 9 against Norwood Young America.
Contact Melissa Marohl at email@example.com