By Jake Schroer
Crow River News Sports
STMA’s section quarterfinal saw it as the #4 seed, hosting #5 seeded Moorhead. The Spuds grabbed the lead in the early goings, eventually extending it to 27-15. After that, the Knights picked up their game at both ends, going on an 18-6 run to close the first half.
The run was highlighted by a sudden scoring surge of nine points in four possessions; a Jackson Greenwaldt three pointer, a Greenwaldt layup, a Hakes layup, and a Rothstein layup. Greenwaldt hit another three pointer in the closing seconds to give his team a 35-33 lead at the intermission.
Greenwaldt continued to score heavily in the second half as the Knights pulled away. STMA secured a trip to the section semifinal game at St. Cloud State University with a 75-60 victory. Greenwaldt, who celebrated his birthday Tuesday night, scored 30 points. Hakes had 17 and Rothstein scored 12. Cody Dorow scored 36 to pace Moorhead.
Greenwaldt said winning the quarterfinal was a great present. He said the team knew it had to play better coming out of an early timeout and helped key the rally.
“I think I got a steal, and then right after that, it kind of led up to that whole run, and from there, it was all good,” he said.
Coach Anfenson said it was a solid win after a down period.
“It’s a really good feeling because we’ve been really fighting ourselves for the past couple weeks and not playing our best basketball.”
With the win, the Knights extended the season and earned a trip to St. Cloud State.
AT ST. CLOUD TECH
After making the most out of hosting a section quarterfinal, the STMA Knights boys basketball team made the trip to St. Cloud State University’s Halenbeck Hall. In the fifth game of the day, the Knights took on the #1 seeded St. Cloud Tech Tigers.
Picking up where they left off earlier in the week, the Knights got out to an early 17-9 lead, surprising the Tigers. After a timeout, Tech snapped out of it, but the Knights matched the Tigers throughout the first half.
St. Cloud Tech took the lead right before halftime when Andy Foley sank three free throws. After leading for most of the first 18 minutes, the Knights trailed 31-29 at the intermission. STMA looked poised to make a run in the second half.
When the second half came around, the wheels came off the bus for STMA. It took the Knights several minutes to record a single point, which came on a free throw. In that time, Tech went on a run to stretch the lead to 16 points.
Andy Foley proved to be far too much for the Knights as he scored 33 points in leading Tech to a 64-52 victory, which propelled the Tigers to the section final. On STMA’s end, Trevor Rothstein scored 14 points to lead the way.
Coach Anfenson sat frustrated after the game. He said he did not know what went wrong in the second half.
“They stepped up their intensity, and when they do that, then your team needs to step up your intensity and we just didn’t match that. For whatever reason, that was the case.”
Anfenson said after taking some time to decompress, the coaching staff would take a look at what they did and try to get the kids to come back and work hard in the summer.
Jackson Greenwaldt, battling an overnight fever, managed just eight points against the swarming Tech defense. Jaylen Hakes added seven in the defeat. STMA ends the season with a record of 14-13.