The Minneapolis Lady Lions helped accomplish something special to the Minneapolis community on Friday night.
With their 37-28 road win at Beloit and the Minneapolis boys’ blowout win over the Trojans, Minneapolis would have its first road sweep at Beloit in 38 years.
The Lady Lions did get off to a slow start on Friday, though. Neither team could muster much offense, however, Beloit’s Porsche Cooper helped keep the Trojans afloat and with the lead, 7-6 after the first.
Both teams played tight defense in the second quarter and forced numerous turnovers. Minneapolis was able to get a little bit of offense from Cameron Cleveland, as she nailed two 3-pointers in the first half. A Courtney Forte bucket just before halftime, put the Lady Lions ahead 11-9 at the break.
Minneapolis slowly seized control in the third quarter. Neither team was able to go on a significant run in the period, however, Cleveland and Alayna Cossaart led MHS with clutch buckets. Minneapolis led 21-17 going in to the final quarter.
The Lady Lions finally broke the game open in the fourth quarter, as Cossaart hit a big 3-pointer to give Minneapolis a three score lead. Cleveland also began to wear down the Beloit defense with her attacking drives to continue to extend the Minneapolis lead, while Forte sealed the game at the free-throw line with four-straight makes.
Beloit (0-4, 0-3 NCAA) was held to below 30 points for the second time this season. The Trojans have not scored more than 31 points in a game this year. They were led on Friday by Cooper’s 11 points.
Minneapolis (3-6, 2-2 NCAA) snapped its three-game losing streak entering Friday. The win over Beloit was the Lions’ second in three years. Cleveland led Minneapolis with 14 points and Cossaart tied a career-high 13 points in the game.
The Nex-Tech Wireless “Player of the Game” is Courtney Forte, who again secured over 10 rebounds in the game and held Beloit’s top scorer, Cooper, in check on defense. Forte also scored eight points on the night. Cossaart won the H&R “Block of the Game.”
The Lady Lions play on Saturday when they host Republic County on 92.7 The New Zoo. Pregame begins at 1:45 with tip-off at 2 p.m.
MINNEAPOLIS BOYS 74, Beloit 40
The Minneapolis Lions remain hot and take down a rival for the first time in four tries on Friday night with a dominating win.
Much like Tuesday night’s game against Valley Heights, when Minneapolis got out to a 21-0 lead, the Lions would blitz Beloit at the start for a 9-0 lead out of the gates.
Minneapolis would ride the hot shooting of Trent Moeckel and Nolan White–both hit multiple 3-pointers in the first quarter–to an 18-7 lead.
Spencer Davidson then got going for Minneapolis in the second quarter as he poured in 10 first half points to help Minneapolis maintain the lead. Meanwhile, coming off of a 62 point performance on Wednesday, Beloit had no answer for the Lions’ havoc defense. The Trojans were forced in to over 20 turnovers on the game.
Minneapolis scored 20 points in the second quarter, to lead 38-18 at halftime, and then 22 in the third to lead 60-32 after three. Lions’ freshman, Mister Smith, began to get in to the passing lanes, creating steals and then following them up with easy layups.
Beloit (1-4, 1-2 NCAA) allowed over 70 points in a game for the second time this year. The Trojans were led by Caleb Burks with 20 points.
Minneapolis (7-1, 2-1 NCAA) wins its first game in Beloit since 2015. White led Minneapolis with 17 points. Davidson had 14.
The Nex-Tech Wireless “Player of the Game” is the freshman, Smith. He scored a career-best 15 points in his second-straight start on Friday. Davidson had the H&R “Block of the Game.”
Minneapolis readies for mid-season tournament time as they’ll be the No. 2 seed in the 51st Annual Adolph Rupp Tournament in Halstead. The Lions play on Monday at 5:30 p.m. against (7) Winfield. Live coverage is on 92.7 The New Zoo.
Image credit: Koyer Hauck