After starting the St. Olaf Holiday Hoops tournament 2-0 with wins over Bethlehem Academy and St. Paul Highland Park, the Mayer Lutheran girls’ basketball team lost its final game of the weekend to Providence Academy.
Falling 54-46 to the Lions on Dec. 30, the teams were tied 23-23 at halftime. Head coach Kris Gustin said the Crusaders led for most of the first half.
“We executed our offense well and made four three-pointers, forcing them out of their 1-1-3 zone,” he said.
The second half started a little rough for the Crusaders as Providence Academy’s Taylor Miller sunk three consecutive three-point shots in the team’s first possessions, quickly building a nine-point lead.
Mayer Lutheran battled back and had the chance to take the lead, but the Lions made crucial free throws down the stretch for the 54-46 win.
Gustin said two major things hurt the Crusaders in the second half.
“We were completed dominated on the boards, especially the offensive glass,” he said. “We also were not able to make outside shots against their zone. We made only one three in the second half, and it came with only 14 seconds left.”
The Crusaders shot 31 percent for the game (17-54) and made just five of 20 three-point attempts. Junior Brenna Larsen and freshman Emilee Gustin led the Crusader offense with 11 points each. Juniors Krianna Boelke and Maria Kuntz each netted six, while seniors Shelby Sicheneder and Lauren Manteuffel had five.
Providence Academy outrebounded Mayer Lutheran 37-16, including a 28-12 deficit on the LHS glass, and also blocked six shots. Top rebounders for the Crusaders included Larsen (3), Boelke (3), sophomore Kalie Winter (3), Manteuffel (2), and freshman Sophie Flucas (2). Winter and Larsen led with four and three steals, respectively.
Conference action kicks into high gear this week as the Crusaders host Norwood Young America tonight, before played at LeSueur-Henderson next Tuesday and hosting Watertown-Mayer on Jan. 17. Mayer Lutheran will also host a non-conference game against Glencoe-Silver Lake on Jan. 11.
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