Indians knock off MVL

NEW ULM – It’s time for the Sleepy Eye Indians girls basketball team to party like it’s 1999.

It’s been 15 years since the Indians beat the Minnesota Valley Lutheran Chargers. While no one was sure of the score of the last game Sleepy Eye won, Friday night’s victory over MVL showed a score of 61-51.

“It’s nice to have that monkey (the losing streak) off our backs,” Sleepy Eye coach Ryan Hulke said. “We really wanted it tonight. As bad as we were last night against Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s, tonight we were the exact opposite. We moved well without the ball and our offensive rebounding was huge.”

The Indians win dampened a pre-game ceremony honoring MVL coach Dave Biedenbender’s 300 victories as a coach.

“Sleepy Eye played a better game and we stumbled and didn’t make shots when we needed to,” Biedenbender said. “They got the shots when they needed them. Hopefully, we’ll work our way out of this funk.”

The Chargers offense was in a funk early on as they watched the Indians go up 8-0. It took MVL six minutes to put their first points on the board, but when they did, they came in a bunch, A layup by Alexa Alfred gave the Chargers a short 9-8 lead before buckets from Claire Krumbach and Justine Gonzalez made it 12-9, Sleepy Eye.

Three hoops from Anna Munsen would put the Chargers up again at 17-15, but a 3-pointer and layup from Gonzalez made it 20-17 in favor of the visitors, who would then take a 25-21 lead into halftime.

It looked like the Indians might run away with the game as they opened the second half with six straight points in the first two minutes to open a 31-21 margin. But MVL would eventually turn a 38-27 deficit to a 43-42 lead after two Munsen free throws.

This was Sleepy Eye’s night, though, as Alicia Ibarra would hit a crucial jumper with 1:45 left in the game to pad the Indians lead to 53-49. Gonzalez and Krumbach would combine for seven of Sleepy Eye’s final eight points for the 61-51 win.

Gonzalez led all scorers with 25 points, with Krumbach netting 17. MVL was led by Munsen with 19, while Charlotte Pfingsten added 12.

MVL (10-6) hosts Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s at 7:30 p.m. Monday, while Sleepy Eye (10-9) travels to play Cedar Mountain/Comfrey on at 7:30 p.m. Monday night.

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