In Minnesota River Conference action last week, turnovers proved costly for the Mayer Lutheran girls’ basketball team, as the Crusaders fell to the Central Raiders 62-53 on Jan. 9. The Raiders are also in the Crusaders’ subsection.
“We didn’t play extremely well,” LHS head coach Kris Gustin of the important game. “We shot poorly and had too many turnovers.”
The Crusaders came out sluggish and turned the ball over six times in their first eight possessions, according to Gustin. They would commit 26 turnovers during the game.
Mayer Lutheran made 10 of 28 first half shots and held on to a narrow 28-22 lead, thanks to Central’s cold 6-32 shooting.
“We were probably pretty fortunate to be up at halftime,” Gustin said. “But in the second half, our turnovers and lack of shooting caught up to us.”
Mayer Lutheran was able to open a short-lived 10 point lead in the second half, before the Raiders came storming back to take the lead with a little over three minutes to play. NYA then went on an 11-1 run to end the game and win it 62-53.
“You only score one point in the last three minutes of a game, you’re not going to win any games,” Gustin said. “Norwood has got very active guards and they do a good job of reading passing lanes, and they’re very quick.”
Senior Lauren Manteuffel led the Crusaders with 12 points, followed by sophomore Kalie Winter and senior Shelby Sicheneder, who each netted 10.
Manteuffel, Winter, and Sicheneder teamed up to lead LHS on defense as well. While Sicheneder and Winter each snagged 10 rebounds, Manteuffel pulled down nine for LHS. Junior Maria Kuntz had two blocked shots. Total, the Crusaders had 46 rebounds to the Raiders’ 31, but 26 Mayer Lutheran turnovers (compared to NYA’s 12) gave the Raiders 10 extra scoring opportunities throughout the game, according to Gustin.
Mayer Lutheran rebounded well from the Thursday loss to defeat Glencoe-Silver Lake 81-62 on Saturday.
“We played fairly well,” Gustin said.
The Crusaders sunk six three-pointers in the first half to hold a 39-30 halftime lead. Although the shooting cooled off a bit in the second half, Gustin said Mayer Lutheran made enough free throws down the stretch to be just fine.
“We had enough of a cushion and we played good defense,” he said.
In a reversal of Thursday’s game, the Crusaders were the team to go on an end-of-game run, outscoring the Panthers 18-4 for the 81-62 win.
Most everything on the stat sheet improved from the Central game, including turnovers, which the Crusaders limited to only 16 against the Panthers.
Shooting improved to 46 percent (26-56) and the Crusaders had five players in double digits, including Manteuffel (20), junior Brenna Larsen (18), Kuntz (16), senior Krianna Boelke (10), and freshman Emilee Gustin (10).
Manteuffel led the rebounding crew with 13 boards, followed by Larsen and Kuntz with six a piece. Kuntz blocked two shots against the Panthers, while Boelke snagged four steals.
The Crusaders will host Watertown-Mayer this Friday night, Jan. 17. During the game, they will also be hosting their annual Crusaders for a Cure event, which has raised over $13,000 for Ridgeview’s Pay It Forward Fund in the last three years. Gustin said this year, the team hopes to raise $4,500 through penny wars during the school week, as well as a shooting contest and bake sale during the game.
Next week, the Crusaders hit the road to Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity (Jan. 21) and Sibley East (Jan. 23). The Crusaders are 7-6 this season, 2-2 in the conference (tied for fourth).
Contact Melissa Marohl at email@example.com