One year ago, Sacred Heart beat Minneapolis at the buzzer on a stunning layup at the end of regulation.
In 2017, the result was eerily similar, with the Sacred Heart girls coming away with a 51-49 win.
Though there was no buzzer-beater this time, the first match up of the year between league foes did not lack in drama.
Sacred Heart got the lead early behind Anna Ivey’s 10 first half points, as the Knight forward dominated inside. Sacred Heart led 17-10 in the final minute of the first quarter.
But as the Knights would soon learn, Minneapolis wouldn’t go anywhere. The Lady Lions would subsequently go on a 6-0 run to end the first down one, then score the first points of the second quarter to take the lead.
The two would trade baskets all night. After a slim 28-24 lead at halftime, Sacred Heart would see that lead evaporate as the top Knights’ scorer, Ally Cochran, fouled out of the game with one minute to go in the third.
When Cochran left, Minneapolis led 41-36. The Lady Lions were starting to dominate with the duo of Karisma Vignery and Faythe Korinek.
Sacred Heart though, would rally. Ivey and Catherine Marak would lead the way to put the Knights up 47-44 with three minutes to go.
A Vignery three-pointer would tie the game up with one minute left, but the Knights would make just enough free-throws to pull out the two-point win.
Minneapolis (1-4, 0-2 NCAA) had a couple of chances to tie or even take the lead but couldn’t convert in the final minute. The Lady Lions were led in scoring by Korinek with 15 and Vignery 13.
Sacred Heart (2-4, 1-1 NCAA) picked up their second win in three tries over Minneapolis. The Knights were led by Ivey’s 21 points.
Sacred Heart plays at top-ranked 2A, Central Plains on Tuesday. Minneapolis gets Republic County.
SACRED HEART 64, Minneapolis 39
The Sacred Heart boys’ basketball team celebrated a festive night by thoroughly beating Minneapolis, 64-39.
Spirits were high for the Knights and their fans as Sacred Heart welcomed back last year’s senior class to raise their 2016-2017 2A State Championship banner at halftime.
Minneapolis was in striking distance after one, trailing just 19-12. But the Lions were outscored 17-2 in second quarter and Sacred Heart put this one away early.
Sacred Heart scored early and often with Caleb Jordan and Charlie Skidmore, as both were firecracker hot from behind the arc.
The Knights defense was suffocating. They held Minneapolis to just 11 points over the span of the second and third quarters.
Minneapolis (1-4, 1-1 NCAA) didn’t have anyone score in double-figures. The Lions were paced by Derek Freel with 8 points.
The Lions will face Republic County on Tuesday. Tip times are 6/7:30 on 92.7 The New Zoo.
Sacred Heart (5-1, 2-0 NCAA) has won five-straight since dropping their first game of the year. Jordan and Skidmore led the way with 17 and 14, each.
The Knights step out of NCAA league play on Tuesday with a colossal challenge as they travel to Central Plains to take on the Oilers in a battle of top-5 teams. Tip times are 6/7:30 on FM 104.9.