By Jake Schroer
Crow River News Sports
Before Tuesday’s game at the Target Center, the STMA Lady Knights had not lost since the weekend of the Super Bowl. The winning streak helped solidify a #1 seed and a trip to the state tournament three games later.
Against the third seeded Bloomington Kennedy Eagles, the Knights came out and played their usual brand of basketball. Tough defense kept them in the game, as well as some trouble at the free throw line by the Eagles. Accurate three-point shooting kept Kennedy in front.
By halftime, the Knights had kept it within seven at 39-32. The second half saw the Knights continue to battle. One big moment later in the half saw Lizzy Heil steal the ball and turn it into an STMA score, which cut Bloomington’s lead to six points.
However, the Knights failed to convert on several opportunities and the Eagles eventually pulled away for a 71-57 victory. The game’s final points were scored by Jaymie Hansen on a three point basket.
Coach Hamre acknowledged a cliché when he said that his kids battled hard and that is all that can be expected of them.
“We ran into a very quality team, no question.”
Hamre said he was proud of his kids and that his four seniors would be missed. He singled out Tracy and Heil as younger kids who made a difference.
“(Lizzy’s) going to pester someone to get that steal, and it doesn’t matter if it’s a Division One recruit or a non-Division One recruit.”
Despite being picked to finish fourth in the conference, the Knights won the conference while not losing a single game within.
Hamre said he would remember how this team fought through different types of adversity through the year.
“I think that showed a lot of character. These kids were told they weren’t good enough, and they proved tonight that they were.”
Sydney Tracy scored 19 points to lead the Knights. In her final game as a Knight, Erin Autio scored 15 and grabbed three rebounds. Bobbi Brendefur added 11 points to the STMA total. The loss ended the season, as the Knights finish with a record of 23-5.