Coming in to Tuesday night’s game at Minneapolis High School, the Lions knew its mission was clear: win, and you’d guarantee a home sub-state game. Lose, and you’d face the potential prospect of a long road trip for the first round of the postseason, win-or-go-home tournament.
Minneapolis left no doubt as it pummeled Russell, 82-46 on Tuesday.
The Lions honored its seniors on Tuesday, meaning that the four seniors all started. For Dylan Pieschl, it was his first career start as he typically came off of the bench this year. However, on his Senior Night, the Minneapolis senior did not disappoint as he hit the game’s first two 3-pointers to help spark MHS to a 10-2 lead right away.
Russell’s Jacob Sohm tried to keep the Broncos in the game knocking down a couple of shots at the start, but it was too much pestering defense and fire power for the Lions with Spencer Davidson and Trent Moeckel both getting involved and punishing the Russell defense.
Meanwhile, the Minneapolis defense was smothering, as the Broncos struggled to hang on to the ball, leading to easy Minneapolis run-outs.
After the first quarter blitz, Minneapolis led 25-6.
There would be thoughts of a comeback in the second quarter as Moeckel, Nolan White and Pieschl all made 3-pointers in the stanza–including Pieschl’s to end the half and put the stamp on the Minneapolis win with a 53-22 lead at the break.
Minneapolis continued to dazzle offensively in the second half as 11 different Lions would score in the game, four reaching double-figures.
Meanwhile, Russell didn’t have the fire power to match the intensity of the Minneapolis run and jump defense. The Lions forced well over 20 turnovers in the win.
Russell (2-18, 0-12 NCAA) has now lost 15 straight on the year. They’ll be the No. 8 seed in the Beloit sub-state and must face the top-seeded host team, Beloit on Monday.
Sohm led the Broncos with 13 points.
Minneapolis (14-6, 8-4 NCAA) eclipsed its season win total from one year ago by one game in the regular season. Moeckel led the Lions with 16 points in the victory, while both White and Davidson scored 12 points, each and Pieschl tallied in a career-best 11 points to help the Lions.
With the win, Minneapolis was able to honor its four seniors in style: Kaden Griffin, Jonah Ausherman, Derek Freel and Dylan Pieschl.
With the win, Minneapolis sews up the No. 4 seed in the Beloit 3A sub-state, meaning that the Lions will get a home game next week against Norton, the No. 5 seed.
Coverage of the Minneapolis boys’ first round sub-state game is at next Monday with a 6 p.m. tip. Pregame starts at 5:45 p.m. on 92.7 The New Zoo.
Russell 49, MINNEAPOLIS GIRLS 37
Russell scored nearly 40 points in the second half to score a huge come-from-behind road win over Minneapolis and potentially give itself a home sub-state game next Tuesday.
Minneapolis came out with great defensive effort on its home floor for Senior Night on Tuesday. The Lady Lions would cause havoc all first half against Russell, forcing 16 turnovers in the period.
Meanwhile, Minneapolis was seeing big time production from both Cameron Cleveland and Zoie Shupe. The duo led MHS to a 10-2 lead after one.
Russell continued to struggled to put the ball in the hoop in the second quarter as the Lions continued to force timely turnovers. However, the game changed in the stanza as both Courtney Forte and her backup, Mandy Lang, each picked up two fouls and had to sit for the remainder of the half.
Russell used the opportunity against the thin bench of Minneapolis to end the half on a 10-4 run and pull within four at the break, 16-12.
The Lady Broncos would not kick the ball around in the second half, as they only had four turnovers the remainder of the game and were paced by Rylan Reeves 13 second half points, to which Minneapolis did not have an answer.
Russell finally secured the lead for the first time of the game late in the third quarter, leading 28-25 at the end of three, and would not look back scoring 21 points in the final quarter to secure its eighth win of the year.
Russell (8-12, 5-7 NCAA) has won its last seven of 10 games after starting the year at 1-9. Reeves led Russell with 23 points and Camille Dortland finished with 15 in the win.
Russell awaits to see if it will be the No. 4 seed in the 3A Girls Beloit Sub-State with a home game, or if it will have to travel to Hays TMP.
Minneapolis (5-15, 2-10 NCAA) lost its last five of six to end the regular season. Cleveland led the team with 15 points in the loss, before fouling out.
Minneapolis was unable to send out its two seniors, Zoie Shupe and Kersti Nelson, with a win in their final home game.
The loss means that Minneapolis is now the No. 7 seed in the Beloit Sub-State and will face the second-seeded host team, Beloit, next Tuesday.
Tip-off time is at 7 p.m., meanwhile live coverage on 92.7 The New Zoo will begin at 6:45 p.m.