Thursday, March 12, 2020

Step V: an incredible season ends

It was a furious battle from start to finish. Cromwell-Wright featured a highly-lauded roster with two players signed for D-II next year.

In the closing minute, the B-B-E Jaguars girls' basketball team trailed 65-58 at one point. The Cardinals (29-2) were not giving an inch, but neither were the Jaguars!!

Final score: No. 2-seeded Cromwell-Wright 67, B-B-E 58.

That's the end.

Coronovirus eliminated the loser's bracket of the state tournament.

Life is full of surprises. How we handle what life dishes out to us each day makes all the difference in the world, and when kids work through various types of adversities, it makes them better too.

Cromwell-Wright's Taya Hakamaki (season average of 25.4 ppg) erupted for 34 points to lead her team to the victory. She is one of  eight seniors on the Cardinals' roster. C-W is the real deal. They are GOOD. And we had them right in our sights until the closing seconds of the game. Ultimately, only four players scored for the Cardinals, and just seven of their players saw action on the floor.

B-B-E, who played 11 players, was led by freshmen Abby Berge's 18 points.

Scoring for B-B-E: Jacqueline Gossen 2, Grace Illies 4, Jenna Dingmann 9, Allisa Knight 12, Karsee Kampsen 5, Abby Berge 18, Josie Knutson 5, Karissa Jones 3. The Jaguars shot 38.8 percent from the field (19-49) and made seven of 21 three-point attempts. They were 13-of-20 at the free throw line.

B-B-E graduates three out of their top 10 players. They will be dearly missed: Jacqueline Gossen, Grace Illies and Jenna Dingmann.

Cromwell-Wright scoring: Taya Hakamaki 34, Shaily Hakamaki 15, Natalee Hakamaki 5, Andrea Pocernich 13.

*Below, video from about three minutes left in the game:

I had all the faith in the world that the Jaguars would earn their 20th win of the season and continue to write extra pages in the B-B-E history book. They played an absolutely PHENOMENAL game from start to finish. Cromwell-Wright was the real deal, and our team did not back down!!!

I could not be prouder of this team and how they played during the game and how they handled the tough part of having the season cut short. They are all incredible role models, from the three seniors on down the ranks.

Other state tournament games...
In an earlier state quarterfinal game today, top-seeded Minneota advanced with a 57-37 win over Red Lake.

Henning won 69-56 over Fillmore Central in the game that followed our game at Maturi Pavilion. Henning will face C-W in tomorrow's semifinal game.

Waterville-Elysian-Morristown defeated Heritage Christian Academy 58-46 in the other Class 1A state quarterfinal game today.

Another evening state tournament game tonight was played at Concordia-St. Paul that featured two central Minnesota teams: New London-Spicer and Sauk Centre. The Wildcats came out on top by a 59-54 score in the Class 2A tournament. That concluded the brief stint for those two teams in the consolation bracket of the state tournament. NL-S and Sauk Centre also had their state tournament cut short by the virus.

That's it! Time to head home. The motto now is, "Be well! Stay well!" amidst everything going on out there.

*Video from state will be posted after 22:00 tonight. **Correction: after 23:30.

THANK YOU Bonanza Valley State Bank for your corporate sponsorship of this Jaguars Sports state tournament update!

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