A 17-2 run in the third quarter turned a Minneapolis deficit in to a lead, and ultimately pushed the Lady Lions to a 45-22 win over Ellsworth.
Neither team had started out its season well, so both were desperate to start league play off at 1-0. Much like their first games, however, neither team was able to light up the scoreboard in the first half.
Minneapolis’ Cameron Cleveland scored the team’s first eight points, but Ellsworth led narrowly, 9-8 after one.
Minneapolis gained its first lead in the second quarter, as Courtney Forte started to get some shots to fall. However, a Natalie Rolfs 3-pointer just before halftime gave the Lady Bearcats the lead back, 14-13 at the break.
Cleveland, though, would put on a show in the second half. After a scoreless second quarter, the Lady Lions’ junior was unstoppable in the third frame. Cleveland would score six points in the period, including a 3-pointer to give Minneapolis the lead. Then, Alayna Cossaart got in to the act. She hit back-to-back 3s to stretch the MHS lead to double-digits.
After the dust settled from the third quarter Lady Lion barrage, Minneapolis led 30-16.
Minneapolis then closed the game out with a couple of Forte buckets in the final period.
Ellsworth (0-4, 0-1 NCAA) went ice cold in the last half of play, as the youth and inexperience of the Bearcats was just too much to overcome. Rolfs led Ellsworth with five points.
Minneapolis (2-3, 1-0 NCAA) outscored Ellsworth 32-8 in the second half on its way to its second win in-a-row. Forte knotched another double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds. She also had the H&R “Block of the Game” on a shot block to end the first half.
The Nex-Tech Wireless “Player of the Game,” though, is Cleveland. She finished with a career-best 23 points in the win.
The Minneapolis boys team was scheduled to play Ellsworth on Tuesday, but was postponed to a later date due to COVID-19 concerns.
Both Minneapolis teams come back home to host Sacred Heart on Friday. Live coverage is on 92.7 The New Zoo, beginning at 5:45 p.m.
Image: Koyer Hauck