By Jake Schroer
Crow River News Sports
Three more games entered the books for the Knights boys basketball team; a victory over Monticello, and losses to Big Lake and Spring Lake Park.
Monticello came to the STMA gym and played well enough to lead by two points going into halftime. The Magic extended its lead to five points early in the second half before the Knights took over.
The lead belonged to the Knights with under seven minutes left. Jackson Greenwaldt sank one of his three 3 point baskets to extend the lead to six. The play of the game came from Trevor Rothstein, playing just his second game since recovering from an injury suffered at the end of last season.
Rothstein drew a foul on a clutch three point shot. He converted the free throw for a rare four point play, giving the Knights a ten point lead with less than five minutes left. Rothstein finished with 16 points, leading the team.
Dallas Freeman scored 15 points, including a late three pointer that proved to be a knockout blow to the Magic as the Knights won 67-53.
Head coach Tim Anfenson felt his team settled down in the second half and took control of the game. He figured Rothstein had about 14 of his 16 points down the stretch in the second half. Anfenson said certain guys on the team are trying to find their roles.
“Those guys coming off the bench are important and they’re learning to play. We’ve got a lot of guys that haven’t played varsity too much, so they’re into the mix for the very first time.”
Rothstein said he worked as hard as he could to come back from his injury and help his team.
“With everyone else scoring too, it helps me get open shots, so they’ve been helping me out, helping me get back in the groove of things a little easier,” he said.
Big Lake wins big
Greenwaldt finished with 12 points as the Knights fell down by 19 points in the first half and ultimately lost by 22 to Big Lake. The loss was the first in the conference for STMA.
Big Lake led 42-23 when the first half came to a close. STMA’s defense played better in the second half, but the offense could not keep up with the Hornets. The final score was 71-49 Big Lake.
Coach Anfenson said a low effort level caused his team some problems against the Hornets, and that the team committed far too many fouls.
“We need to bring more effort to be successful,” he said. The team has several areas to address, Anfenson said.
Knights lose against SLP
The Knights lost against Spring Lake Park in a game originally scheduled as the season opener before the football team’s state tournament run.
Here, coach Anfenson felt his team played much better than it had against Big Lake. STMA held a ten point lead in the second half before things went south in the form of a behind-the-arc barrage. The Panthers hit 14 three point shots in the game. Coach Anfenson said defense has been a weakness for the Knights.
“We could not get any stops in the second half.”
Anfenson said the team is giving up too many points per game (69). The Knights ran into a hot shooter in the form of T.C. Robinson who scored nearly 50 points.
“We will need to improve in this area if we want to get where we want to go.”
The Knights play in a holiday tournament starting on Friday.’’