Mavericks stampede to semis
SHERBURN – A couple of offensive bursts and some stellar defense, and the No. 2-seeded Martin County West Mavericks sailed by the No. 7-seeded Luverne Cardinals, 49-31, during Section 3AA, South Sub-Section quarterfinal action on Friday in Sherburn.
Now the game that never happened during the regular season, the Mavericks (19-4) will take on No. 3 seed Windom Area in the South Sub-Section semifinals at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday night in St. James.
Luverne finished its season with an 8-17 overall record.
Windom Area reached the sub-section semifinals by defeating No. 6-seeded St. James, 56-39, Friday night in Windom.
“It’s funny because this is the game that we were supposed to play a week ago against Windom, but it got cancelled (due to the weather),” said Martin County West head coach Rodger Taylor. “So it’ll be good to see what they bring to the game next week.”
On Friday, the Cardinals jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the opening minutes over the Mavericks.
After Amanda Barnhart was fouled on a shot inside the lane, she swished one of two free throws to start the scoring.
Luverne senior Tara Sudenga then hit a jumper inside the lane on the next Luverne possession to make it 3-0.
“I thought that we came out a little sluggish tonight. We played like it had been 10 days since we played a game, and it had been,” said Taylor. “Then we got things going and we’re happy to get a win and advance.”
From there, the Mavericks took over, going on an 8-0 run to stake their first lead.
Ellie Kuehl sank a shot from the elbow, before Kate Thiesse swished the first of two shots along the baseline.
Taryn Tumbleson drained a shot from the top of the key before Thiesse, who went over 1,000 career points in the game, swished her second basket to make it 8-3.
Sudenga, who scored a game-high 13 points for the Cardinals, then cut the lead to two with a 3 from the top of the key.
Barnhart then caught a pass from Lexi Rust on the block and spun around for the layup to even the game with 9:30 left before half.
The Maverick defense shut down the Cardinals from there, going on a 20-0 run in the remaining time before the break.
“Defense has been our strong suit all season,” said Taylor. “But going into halftime to hold them to just eight points, that was surprising and I think that was an accomplishment for a good effort.”
Maverick sophomore Reilly Geistfeld, who scored a team-leading 12 points, started the streak after getting fouled on a shot inside the lane and converted both free throw attempts.
Tumbleson swished a 3 from the corner on her way to nine points in the game, while Madyson Larson scored four of her eight points in the first half.
Despite the Cardinals outscoring the Mavericks 23-21 in the second half, with the double-digit lead at the break, the Mavericks were able to ease to the win.
Luverne sophomore Morgan Haugen provided a spark for the Cardinals in the second half, scoring all of her six points in addition to leading a persistent full-court press.
Haugen’s first basket of the game make it 30-10 with 16 minutes left in the game to end the scoring drought.
Tayla Peterson scored all four of her points in the second half for Luverne, sinking a jumper in the lane to cut the deficit in half at 38-19.
The Mavericks were able to counter every basket, making 19 of 57 shots from the floor and swishing 9 of 13 free throws in the game.
“We didn’t shoot great, but I’ve definitely seen us shoot worse,” said Taylor. “We were able to get some things worked out tonight and hopefully that’ll get us ready for Tuesday.”
In addition to Geistfeld’s 12 points, she also grabbed a game-high eight rebounds, while Madyson Larson pulled down six and McKenna Taylor snagged five boards.
Rust 1-4 1-2 3, Haugen 2-11 2-4 6, Severson 0-5 0-0 0, Barhart 2-5 1-4 5, Sudenga 5-8 0-0 13, Peterson 2-5 0-0 4, Kneip 0-1 0-4 0. Totals: 12-39 4-14 31.
Kuehl 2-13 0-0 5, Tumbleson 3-7 2-2 9, Thiesse 4-11 0-0 8, Madyson Larson 3-3 2-3 8, Geistfeld 4-5 4-5 12, Smith 2-4 1-1 5, Taylor 1-1 0-0 2, Gregory 0-1 0-0 0, Morgan Larson 0-2 0-0 0, Scherer 0-0 0-2 0. Totals: 19-57 9-13 49.
3-pointers: Luverne 3-13 (Rust 0-3, Haugen 0-1, Severson 0-3, Sudenga 3-5, Peterson 0-1); MCW 2-10 (Kuehl 1-5, Tumbelson 1-4, Smith 0-1). Fouled out: Sudenga. Rebounds: Luverne 23 (Haugen, Barnhart and Peterson 5 each); MCW 28 (Geistfeld 8, Larson 6, Taylor 5).
Jackson County Central 55, Blue Earth Area 46 – The No. 4-seeded Huskies eased their way to a 55-46 Section 3AA, South Sub-Section quarterfinal victory over the No. 5-seeded Bucs on Friday in Jackson.
The Huskies (9-16) advance to face Class AA, No. 8-ranked and No. 1-seeded Fairmont in the South Sub-Section semifinals at 6 p.m. Tuesday in St. James.
The Bucs finished their season with a 9-14 record.
BEA sophomore Paige Darrington neared double-double territory by scoring 10 points and pulling down eight rebounds.
Kaitlyn Olsen poured in 11 points and snared five rebounds, while pocketing four steals in the game for the Bucs.
BEA senior Jenna Stevermer scored nine points and had six rebounds during her final game on the hardwood, while Taylor Grandgenett scored seven points and had three boards.
Darrington and Karli Olsen each contributed three steals for the Bucs.
Blue Earth Area made 19 of 60 from the floor, including 3 of 16 from behind the arc, while swishing 5 of 15 charity tosses.
The Huskies made 17 of 39 from the floor and sank 16 of 29 free throws in the win.