Minneapolis basketball once again made history on Friday night at Minneapolis High School.
The Lions enjoyed honoring nine senior basketball players between the girls and boys teams with a sweep on Beloit. The sweep on Friday, coupled with a Minneapolis sweep of the Trojans in Jan., is the first time ever that both Minneapolis teams swept Beloit in the same season.
The night started off with the Lady Lions pulling away for a 41-27 victory over Beloit.
After a slow start in the first quarter, Minneapolis eventually warmed up and scored the final eight points of the period to lead 10-6 after one.
Cameron Cleveland, the junior leading scorer for the Lady Lions, was held scoreless last time out against Southeast of Saline. She would get going early as she poured in six points in the first half–four of which came in the first stanza.
While Minneapolis was getting going offensively, their defense was keeping the Beloit offensive attack off-balance all game. Beloit’s Porsche Cooper was the Trojans’ leading scorer on the season. In the first half on Friday, she was held scoreless and Minneapolis led 25-11 at halftime.
Beloit rallied in the third quarter, however. Minneapolis went the first four minutes without scoring. Meanwhile, the Trojans cut the lead down to just six points late in the period.
The Lady Lions needed a spark and got one from their top-scorer, Cleveland. She buried a corner 3-pointer for just the fifth Minneapolis point in the quarter. While Beloit outscored Minneapolis 11-5 in the third, the Lady Lions still led 30-21.
Courtney Forte enforced her will on both ends of the floor in the final quarter as Minneapolis finally pulled away for the win.
Beloit (2-11, 2-6 NCAA) had no players finish in double-figures as Raegan Eilert led the team with nine points on Friday.
Minneapolis (9-9, 5-3 NCAA) gets back to a .500 overall record for a third time this year. The Lady Lions haven’t been above .500 yet. Forte had another double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Paeton Smith wins the H&R “Block of the Game” with three steals for scores in the win.
Meanwhile, Cleveland is the Nex-Tech Wireless “Player of the Game” finishing with 16 points.
Minneapolis looks to finish off the regular season with an above .500 record for the first time since 2015-2016, if they can knock off Republic County on Monday.
MINNEAPOLIS BOYS 57, Beloit 28
The Minneapolis boys’ team finally broke open the flood gates against undermanned Beloit, but it took the Lions three full quarters to do so on Friday night.
Minneapolis would miss several makeable shots all game long, which allowed Beloit to stay in the game. However, the Trojans struggled against the tight pressure of the Minneapolis defense and were not effective on the offensive either.
Minneapolis led 12-6 after one, the then Lions pulled their lead to eight at halftime, 22-14.
Another lackluster quarter offensively found the Lions only putting in 13 points. However, the MHS defense continued to constrict Beloit, as the Trojans could only muster eight points in the third. Minneapolis still led 35-22 going in to the fourth.
The dam finally broke in the final quarter as Beloit wore down and Minneapolis was finally able to get points through transition. The Lions outscored the Trojans 22-6 in the final quarter on their way to their second win-in-a-row.
Beloit (4-12, 3-7 NCAA) made six 3’s on Friday night, but didn’t have much of an inside game. The Trojans were led by freshman, Bryce Beisner’s 10 points.
Minneapolis (12-5, 5-2 NCAA) sweeps Beloit with the win. The Lions had three players land in double-figures, as once again, Nolan White led all scorers with 18 points. In White’s last seven games, he is averaging 21.5 ppg. Spencer Davidson tallied in 15 points yet again and all six MHS seniors also scored for senior night.
The Nex-Tech Wireless “Player of the Game,” though, is senior, Brody Vance, who had a career-night with 12 points and nine rebounds en route to the blowout win. Also, senior, John Nelson, wins the H&R “Block of the Game.”
Minneapolis finishes off the regular season on Monday at Republic County. Tip times are at 6 and 7:30 p.m. on 92.7 The New Zoo.