2020 has been a tough start to the season for the Minneapolis Lady Lions as all three of their losses have come by nine points or less.
It wasn’t pretty, but the Minneapolis girls would score its first win on the year with a 43-35 victory over Solomon to close out the Tri-County Classic.
After a tight first quarter that saw Solomon hold a slim, 11-9 lead going in to the second quarter; Minneapolis’ Paeton Smith propelled the Lady Lions in the second period. The senior would lead Minneapolis by playing tough defense, which then led to the offensive end, where she made two tough baseline jumpers. This put Minneapolis up 19-18 at the break.
Minneapolis’ Courtney Forte then got in to the act in the third quarter. The senior owned the glass and then hit two big buckets in the period. Meanwhile, freshman Maggie Shupe hit some big shots as well to help pace the Lady Lions. After three, Minneapolis led 28-22.
The Lady Lions wouldn’t surrender their lead like they did in their previous two games against Ell-Saline and Bennington. MHS would shoot 6-10 from the field in the final quarter to keep the Gorillas at arm’s length.
Solomon (1-2, 0-0 Wheat State League) had a couple of big performances by both Kami Kugler and Emma Seidl, as they both scored 11 and 10, respectively in the loss.
Minneapolis (1-3, 0-0 NCAA) finishes 1-2 in the Tri-County Classic. Shupe scored a career-high 10 points in the win.
Meanwhile, the Nex-Tech Wireless “Player of the Game” is Smith, as she scored a career-best 11 points. Freshman Maddy Krueger wins the H&R “Block of the Game” for her shot block in the third quarter.
Up next, Solomon hosts Stafford, while Minneapolis travels to Ellsworth.
MINNEAPOLIS BOYS 65, Solomon 40
The Tri-County Classic championship game didn’t quite live up to its billing as the Minneapolis Lions won in convincing fashion.
Both Solomon and Minneapolis came in to Friday night’s game at Solomon with unblemished records and both teams had beaten some common opponents by similar margins.
However, Minneapolis would grab control early and never look back.
MHS led 15-12 after one, when Spencer Davidson exploded for the second night in-a-row. The Lion big man would score 12 of his 14 first half points in the quarter, as he would lead the transition break–and often times–finish it without challenge from Solomon.
Broady Vance would also anchor the Lions down low, as the other Minneapolis big got some big buckets inside. Minneapolis outscored Solomon 24-9 in the second quarter, to lead 39-21 at the break.
The third quarter was much of the same for the Lions, as senior guard Nolan White made two 3s in the game and one in the third. Meanwhile, Davidson once again could not be stopped as he got whatever he wanted at the rim.
After three, it was Minneapolis 61, Solomon 30. The Lions then cruised in the fourth for the win its second Tri-County Classic in-a-row.
Solomon (3-1, 0-0 WSL) came in averaging 66 PPG, but only put up 40 on Friday. Makaen Hastings led the Gorillas with 11 points.
Minneapolis (4-0, 0-0 NCAA) owned the glass as Solomon had barely any offensive rebounds in the game. Davidson led the Lions with 22 points.
However, the Nex-Tech Wireless “Player of the Game” is White who scored 13 points and grabbed seven rebounds in the game. White was also responsible for the H&R “Block of the Game.”
Minneapolis turns its attention to North Central Activities Association play next week, as the Lions travel to Ellsworth on Tuesday. Live coverage begins at 5:45 p.m. on 92.7 The New Zoo.
Image credit: Minneapolis High School student, Koyer Hauck