Knights run past Cougars

SLEEPY EYE – On a night when most schools had canceled class and athletic events due to below-zero temperatures, the Cedar Mountain/Comfrey and Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s girl’s basketball teams duked it out in the St. Mary’s Gym.

Despite holding a one-point lead at halftime, Larissa Helget and Becca Schmitz helped St. Mary’s outscore CM/C 37-13 in the second half en route to a 61-36 victory – its first Tomahawk Conference win of the season.

“I thought we played really well and we worked really hard over break in the practices that we had in trying to get more balance and working a lot on our outside shooting,” said St. Mary’s coach Bruce Woitas. “I think we’re starting to see that.”

Helget led the Knights (3-6, 1-4 Tomahawk) with 23 points from 10-of-16 shooting from the floor, hitting 3-of-6 shots from 3-point range. She hit three-straight baskets for a 6-0 run that gave the Knights a 20-13 lead with 5:30 to go in the first half.

“She’s one that we counted on to give us some outside shooting throughout the season,” Woitas said of Helget. “She got off to a slow start, but it’s starting to come around for her.”

Schmitz provided a big presence in the middle with 15 points off 6-of-10 shooting along with six rebounds.

The Cougars (6-3, 3-3) were plagued by off-balance shots, shooting 20.3 percent (12-of-58) from the floor during the game. In the second half, the Cougars shot 4-of-28 from the floor with Andrea Ochs netting three of those conversions.

“We shot 16 percent the game before and I don’t think this one was much better,” said CM/C coach Mike Kelly. “Missed too many easy layups, then all of a sudden they get a couple shots to go in and pretty soon we’re down by 10 and then you’ve got to battle back.”

Ochs finished with a team-high 12 points.

CM/C garnered its first lead of the night since the opening ticks of the first half when Ochs netted a layup to make it 26-24 after Brianna Lund converted 1-of-2 free throws to tie the game.

But a 3-pointer by Helget and breakaway layups by Jamie Marti and Helget forced Kelly to call a timeout with the game possibly getting out of control.

Mary Rosenhammer drilled a 3 and Laura Pelzel knocked in a basket off the bench before Karliana Kelly converted two free throws to pull the Cougars to within eight points.

From there, St. Mary’s outscored CM/C 25-8 to take the victory.

“It’s probably a good wake-up call,” Kelly said. “They’ve got to come to practice [Wednesday] and start over.”

St. Mary’s hosts New Ulm Cathedral at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday. CM/C will play at Minnesota Valley Lutheran at 7:30 p.m. on Friday.

CM/C 23 13 – 36

SESM 24 37 – 61

Leading scorers

CM/C: Andrea Ochs 12 5-12 1-2, Karliana Kelly 7 2-7 3-6, Courtney Nelsen 6 2-10 1-1, Brianna Lund 6 2-7 1-2.

SESM: Larissa Helget 23 10-16 0-1, Becca Schmitz 15 6-10 3-4, Nikki Carr 10 4-14 2-2, Jamie Marti 6 3-5 0-0.

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