By Jake Schroer
Crow River News Sports
STMA Lady Knights head coach Kent Hamre realized a preseason goal after the game against Monticello; yet another schedule shuffle caused by inclimate weather. The Knights achieved a 20 win season (20-4, unbeaten in M8) and locked up the #1 seed for the section tournament.
A massive snowstorm scrambled the entire state’s extracurricular schedule yet again, but the Knights eventually did play Monticello for a second time. After the unexpected extra rest, the Knights jumped out to a 9-2 lead thanks to pressure defense.
Both teams experienced a three minute scoring drought later in the half until Sydney Tracy made good on a three point play. Monticello managed to cut the lead to 19-16, but STMA went on a 10-2 run to close out the half leading 29-18.
Bobbi Brendefur started the second half with a bang by stealing the first inbound pass and going in for a layup, which started a 17-0 run. When the smoke cleared, the Knights led by 28. The team closed the game out from there, winning by a final of 59-35.
Erin Autio closed out her final regular season game with another double-double (13 points, 12 rebounds). Tracy also scored 13 and grabbed seven rebounds. Brendefur added 10 points and played a part in shutting down Grace Sawatske along with the dynamic duo of Lizzy Heil and Kitri Zezza.
Coach Hamre said it was a rewarding feeling to have gotten the top seed in the section. However, he said winning the section is no guarantee.
“They call it March Madness for a reason, and everyone is playing a win or go home game. Upsets happen every year.”
The Knights are conference champions for the second year in a row and the fifth time in the past nine seasons. As a state participant last March, STMA hopes to return.