The Minneapolis Lady Lions fought and battled with a team that is undefeated in league play, however, Southeast of Saline was too much–with the Trojans clinching a share of an NCAA league title in a 46-36 win on Thursday night.
The game was originally scheduled to be played on Friday, but due to expected winter weather making its way to Central Kansas, the two schools decided to move the games up 24 hours.
The first half was a dandy between the Lions and Trojans on Thursday at Minneapolis High School.
Minneapolis was blown out by 25 points in the prior meeting between the two and made it a point that they would compete with SES much better in the second go-around.
Both teams played tight defense all night long and especially in the first quarter as neither team got up by more than two points. Led by the great play of Courtney Forte in the first stanza, Minneapolis led for the majority of the quarter, but Karsyn Schlesener and Southeast made some plays to tie it 8-8 going to the second quarter.
The second eight minutes was much of the same, as neither team could effectively crack the other’s defense. But for SES, Maddie Harris began to knock down some mid-range shots as the Trojans poured in nine points in the quarter and led 17-13 at halftime.
The third quarter is where the game got away from the Lady Lions a little bit. Minneapolis still struggled to put the ball in the hole. Meanwhile, a 10-2 run by SES stretched the lead to double-digits as both Schlesener and Harris had just enough offense to keep the Lady Lions at bay in the second half.
Southeast of Saline (12-5, 7-0 NCAA) has now won seven-straight and swept the season series with MHS. The win clinches at least a share of an NCAA league title. Schlesener led SES with 16 points, while Harris tallied in 12 points.
Minneapolis (8-9, 4-3 NCAA) fought and rallied in the fourth quarter. The Lady Lions at one point got the SES lead down to six, as Alayna Cossaart hit two 3’s, but were unable to climb all the way back in to it.
Cossaart led Minneapolis with 14 points and was named the Nex-Tech Wireless “Player of the Game.” Forte finished with 10 points and 14 rebounds for the Lions. She also had the H&R “Block of the Game.”
Minneapolis returns to the road Tuesday, playing at Republic County.
Southeast of Saline 70, MINNEAPOLIS BOYS 60
Southeast of Saline completes the season-sweep of Minneapolis on Thursday night with a convincing win.
The Lions got off to a very cold start offensively as SES grabbed the lead out of the gates. The scoring of Eli Sawyers and Nakari Morrical-Palmer led the Trojans to a 16-10 lead after one.
Minneapolis would pick things up in the second quarter, as the Lions poured in 19 points in the period and capped it off with a Nolan White 3-pointer to give MHS a 29-28 halftime advantage.
Minneapolis looked like it was ready to run away with the game at the start of the third quarter, as the Lions started out on a 7-0 run to take a 34-28 lead early on. However, SES answered with a 13-2 run immediately and never again surrendered the lead.
SES (10-6, 5-2 NCAA) were led by Sawyers with 21 points, Morrical-Palmer’s 17, Jaxson Gabhardt with 16 and Camden Spano-Lund with 11.
Minneapolis (10-5, 3-2 NCAA) got another double-double from Spencer Davidson, who had 11 points, 10 rebounds and the H&R “Block of the Game.” Meanwhile, White is again the Nex-Tech Wireless “Player of the Game,” ending with 21 points.
Up next, both Minneapolis teams travel to Belleville on Tuesday night to challenge the Buffaloes.