After coaching Southwest Star Concept to a fourth place finish at the Class A state girls' basketball tournament, head coach Les Knutson took a moment to sit down and reflect on this season's success.
MARSHALL -- As Ellsworth's Cody Schilling cut the final pieces of the net down from the R/A facility on the campus of Minnesota State University, it was finally time to celebrate. Schilling scored a game-high 26 points and pulled down 11 rebounds to lead Ellsworth past Dawson-Boyd, 56-51, in the boys' Section 3A basketball championship game Tuesday night. "It was an ugly game," Schilling said. "It's kind of like take a breath, and wow, we won. We're going to have to play a lot better at state if we're going to repeat.
WORTHINGTON -- When Ellsworth and Dawson-Boyd take to the court tonight at the R/A Facility at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, it's no question who has the experience. The Ellsworth Panthers (27-2) will vie for their third consecutive trip to the boys' state basketball tournament, while Dawson-Boyd hasn't qualified for the field of eight since 1991. "I would say they are extremely focused; they are a pretty level-headed group where they don't get caught up in all the hype," D-B head coach Cory Larson said of his team.
ST. PAUL -- After playing two low-scoring games at the girls' Class A state basketball tournament, Saturday's third-place game shaped up to be an offensive shootout for Southwest Star Concept. The Quasars scored more than 50 points for the first time all week, but couldn't overcome a talented New Life Academy team in the Eagles' 62-55 victory at Concordia University.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Entering Friday's girls' Class A semifinal basketball game, the Ada-Borup Cougars had averaged more than 70 points per game. However, the Southwest Star Concept defense allowed the Cougars just 44 points Friday. Unfortunately for the Quasars, they could only manage 35 points of their own in a 9-point, 44-35, defeat. "That thing could have got to a 20-point or 30-point blowout, but it's just too bad because we could have won," SSC head coach Les Knutson said.
MINNEAPOLIS -- With Thursday's opening-round game of the girls' Class A state basketball tournament on the line for Southwest Star Concept, it should have been no surprise that Breanna Rients made the big shot. Trailing by two points against Cedar Mountain/Comfrey, the senior guard hit a layup with less than a minute remaining to tie the game and later nailed a pair of free throws that proved to be the difference in the Quasars 42-38 victory. "I just knew I had to make them," Rients said of the free throws.
MINNEAPOLIS -- It was exactly what it was hyped to be. In a low-scoring, defensive-oriented game, the Southwest Star Concept Quasars used some last-minute heroics to edge Cedar Mountain/Comfrey, 42-38, in the opening round of the girls' Class A state basketball tournament Thursday at Williams Arena. "We just wanted it so bad," SSC's Breanna Rients said.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Even though Southwest Star Concept and Cedar Mountain/Comfrey have already faced each other this season, the two teams have come a long way since their December meeting. CM/C won the first meeting, 45-41, Dec. 20 at the CM/C Christmas Challenge. However, when the teams each make their first -ever state tournament appearance at 3 p.m. today in the opening round of the girls' Class A state tournament at Williams Arena on the campus of the University of Minnesota, they will have a different look.
WORTHINGTON -- With 56 points between Ellsworth's Cody Schilling and Trevor Gruis, the Panthers ran away from Murray County Central, 78-47, Tuesday night in the Sub-Section 3A South boys' basketball tournament. Schilling scored 34 points, dished out 12 assists and had 11 rebounds to complete a triple-double, while Gruis scored 22 points and pulled down 10 rebounds for his double-double. "They said that getting a good post touch usually helps create on offense," Gruis said.
WORTHINGTON -- Every time it looked as if Adrian was going to put Tuesday's Sub-section 3A South boys' basketball game away, Southwest Christian's Alex Huisken stepped up. Huisken scored 33 points and pulled down 15 rebounds to lead the Eagles (19-5) past the Dragons (16-9), 78-69. "We pulled it together at the end, that's for sure," Huisken said. "The first half was a little rusty, and that got me kind of nervous, but in the second half, we just pulled together and got a win, and that's all that matters." SWC advances to face Ellsworth at 8 p.m.