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College basketball: Minnesota West caps its regular season, sweeps at Riverland

AUSTIN — Gearing up for postseason play, the Minnesota West basketball teams took care of business Saturday. The women rolled to a 77-44 victory over Riverland Community College and the men defeated their Riverland counterparts 89-83.

Postseason play begins Friday as the Minnesota West men go to the Anoka-Ramsey campus at Coon Rapids to play Central Lakes at 3 p.m. in the first round of the Region/State Tournament. The Lady Jays also go to Coon Rapids for an 8 p.m. Saturday game against Western Tech in the first round of the Region 13A tourney.

Lady Jays 77, Riverland 44

Minnesota West advanced to 21-5 while closing out their Southern Division record at 10-2 by hitting on nearly all cylinders.

“You always want to be playing well at this time of season and I think we are,” said head coach Mike Fury.

The Lady Jays enjoyed a 57-28 rebounding edge and though Fury said they were a little sluggish in the beginning, they showed great penetration against the Riverland zone late in the first half.

Tiffany Gehl led West in scoring with 20 points. Kristen Andersen had 16 points and Lindsey Drooger had 11. Brittney Hermeling led the team in individual rebounds with 12 while Drooger and Andersen had 10 apiece. Drooger also had five assists and four steals.

Lady Jays 38 77

Riverland 22 44

LADY JAYS (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) — Hermeling 1-2-0-7, Kramer 2-1-0-7, Kemper 0-3-2-8, Gehl 0-7-6-20, Drooger 1-3-2-11, Dohlmann 1-1-0-5, Andersen 0-7-2-16, Tish 0-0-3-3. Totals 5-23-16-77.

RIVERLAND (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) — Carruth 0-4-4-12, Larson 2-0-0-6, Zuniga 0-6-3-15, Sanderson 0-2-0-4, Groepper 0-2-3-7. Totals 2-14-10-44.

Bluejays 89, Riverland 83

On Wednesday, the Bluejays were thoroughly stymied by an outstanding Rochester team on their home court. It was important, said West head coach Justin Heckenlaible, to get that taste out of their mouths.

On Saturday, they did. The Jays did a good job on shot selection and hit 46 percent of their field goals.

“We needed to play harder than we played Wednesday night. And that’s what we did,” said Heckenlaible. “We obviously wanted to get back on the winning track. We didn’t want to go into the region tournament on a two-game losing streak.

The win made the men 18-9 on the season and finished their conference campaign at 9-5.

Sophomore guard Jackson Seitzinger scored 30 points for West against Riverland, and he also pulled down eight rebounds. Derek Buysse had seven rebounds to go along with his 17 points. Jordan Thomas and Ja’Pree Murry scored 14 and 12 points, respectively, for the winners.

Bluejays 33 89

Riverland 36 83

BLUEJAYS (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) — Hodges 0-2-4-8, Thomas 3-2-1-14, Murry 0-2-8-12, Seitzinger 5-4-7-30, Buysse 0-7-3-17, Lupton 0-2-1-5, Bennett 1-0-0-3. Totals 9-19-24-89.

RIVERLAND (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) — DeDiego 1-4-2-13, Bongiovanni 1-1-0-5, Lau 4-5-0-22, Stephens 2-0-0-6, Kinniry 1-0-0-3, Oboyo 0-4-2-10, Andrews 0-3-3-9, Hinrichs 0-6-3-15. Totals 9-23-1-83.