Knights Move On to Round 2

SLEEPY EYE – Forget about the run and shoot offense in the NFL.

The real run and shoot belongs to the Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s Knights boys basketball team.

The Knights ran and shot their way past the New Ulm Cathedral Greyhounds Monday night in the first round of the Section 2A, North Subsection basketball playoffs, 94-78.

The win means St. Mary’s advances to the North semi-final against Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City at 6 p.m. Thursday night at Mankato West.

Even though the Knights obviously dominated on offense, it was the most points the Greyhounds had scored all year. Still, it was another day at the office for St. Mary’s.

“We’re going to play aggressive,” Knights coach Tim Milliard said. “The kids like to play that way and we like to coach that way. We’re used to teams making runs and then we do the same thing. We’ve had wilder games than this this year.”

For the Greyhounds, it was too little, too late.

“It was the last game of the year, it’s about time we scored,” Cathedral coach Paul Hazuka said. “We worked so hard to get points, but they’re up and down the court so fast, it kind of takes your breath away.”

Breathing space wasn’t something the Knights had any intention of giving the Greyhounds after the opening tipoff, taking a 18-7 lead a mere 4:45 into the game. Two 3-pointers from Mike Hirsch and a couple of more three point plays led the way for that lead.

Four minutes later, St. Mary’s was up 30-10, giving the Knights the type of cushion that was never really threatened.

Even with consecutive treys from the Greyhounds to cut that margin, St. Mary’s simply gained it back and would take a 51-31 lead into halftime. Credit Cathedral for not giving up and trying to make it interesting in the second half, though.

Jeff Osborne’s bucket and free throw shaved the Knights lead to 62-51, only to watch as St. Mary’s Jared Rothmeier sank three consecutive treys, followed up with a similar shot from Jordan Anderson to re-open the gash to 76-55.

With less than a quarter of the game left, it appeared the Greyhounds were on the verge of total collapse, down 81-57 after a Kansas Adams 3-pointer. But Cathedral rallied again, going on a 14-1 run that put the score at 84-72 with 3:49 left and the smell of a possible upset.

But, after making it 85-75 with 2:33 remaining, the Knights cooly scored nine of the next 12 points for the victory.

Cathedral’s Jake Stadick led all players with 26 points, with Osborne adding 20 and Collin Helget contributing 10.

St. Mary’s had six players in double figures, ley by Mike Hirsch’s 20, followed by Sean Mathiowetz with 18, Adams with 17, Rothmeier with 12, and John Brandl and David Surprenant with 10 each.

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