In the first match-up between Sacred Heart and Minneapolis boys basketball, the two teams combined for 149 total points in a thrilling display of offense at the end of Dec. in Salina.
Sacred Heart won the first meeting, 79-72 over Minneapolis.
On Friday night’s return trip to Minneapolis High School, both teams put on another thrilling display, this time at the defensive end as Minneapolis eaked out a 39-35 win over 2A No. 2 Sacred Heart.
The Knights were without its top player, Tate Herrenbruck, who is out for the year due to an injury.
Still, the Knights were able to pummel rival, Southeast of Saline on Tuesday without its top scorer. So there was no questions that Sacred Heart would still be a brutal challenge for Friday’s game.
The first quarter was the highest scoring period of the night, as Minneapolis went on an 11-0 run, behind the back of two 3s from Trent Moeckel to start the game. However, Sacred Heart answered back with a 10-0 spurt to end the period leading, 12-11.
Both teams’ defenses shined in the second quarter as Minneapolis only scored 10 points in the period. However, Sacred Heart was held scoreless for the first 7:57 of the second.
With Minneapolis ahead by nine just before the half, Sacred Heart’s Mason Richards sank a 3-pointer to finally put the Knights on the board in the quarter with three seconds remaining. While Minneapolis led 21-15 at the break, Sacred Heart appeared to have some momentum after the shot.
Sacred Heart’s defense then shined in the third quarter as they outscored Minneapolis 14-6 and led 29-27 at the end of the quarter.
The fourth quarter was all-out desperation mode between both teams who desperately wanted the win. The Lions were able to grab the lead on a Kaden Griffin and-one bucket with under three minutes to go. After making the free-throw, Minneapolis led by two, 34-32 and would never relinquish the lead.
Sacred Heart (12-2, 7-1 NCAA) saw its 12-game winning streak snapped as the Knights had a chance to tie the game on a 3-pointer with under 30-seconds remaining, but the shot went in-and-out.
Minneapolis (10-5, 4-3) sank crucial free-throws down the stretch by both Griffin and Spencer Davidson to seal the deal. The win over Sacred Heart was its first since 2015 and the Lions’ first over the Knights in nine tries.
Both Moeckel and Griffin led MHS with 13 points, each.
Sacred Heart travels to Russell next, while Minneapolis travels to Ellsworth on Tuesday.
SACRED HEART GIRLS 49, Minneapolis 41
Sacred Heart’s girls team continued its winning ways with a gut-check victory over Minneapolis.
The Lady Lions entered Friday night’s game at Minneapolis High School with just four wins on the year. However, MHS battled all night, trailing 12-6 after one, but actually taking the lead two separate times in the second quarter, however, both Ella Gotti and Amber Palen were red hot from 3-point range and rallied the Knights to a 25-24 halftime lead.
Minneapolis continued to make things uncomfortable for Sacred Heart in the third quarter, but the continued hot shooting from beyond the arc for the Knights helped them get a 42-34 lead going in to the fourth quarter.
The Lady Lions got to within four points at numerous occasions in the final quarter, but were never able to get over the hump.
Minneapolis (4-11, 1-6 NCAA) was plagued by 20 turnovers against the havoc defense of Sacred Heart. Kersti Nelson led the team with 14 points on two 3-pointers. Meanwhile, Minneapolis’ Courtney Forte pulled down a staggering 21 rebounds unofficially on Friday evening.
Sacred Heart (11-3, 7-1 NCAA) continues its quest for a league title, remaining in first place with the win. Both Gotti and Palen led the Knights with 15 points and 13 points a piece.
Sacred Heart’s next game can be heard on the KSAL.com Sports Stream (here: http://streamingplayer.rockingmradio.org/?station=kdjm_fm) against Russell. Minneapolis also travels on the road on Tuesday challenging Ellsworth on Salina radio station, 92.7 The New Zoo. Coverage for both broadcasts begins at 5:45 p.m.