Wednesday, April 07, 2021

Reviewing the state semifinal game (VIDEO)

Here's a low-resolution JPEG of the State Finals posters that are going up at local businesses around the B-B-E community tonight and early tomorrow morning.

In this blog post I will post a few notes from yesterday's win over Sleepy Eye Saint Mary's at Target Center.

And looking ahead to Friday, I'm very excited for the opportunity for our Jaguars and our B-B-E community to market ourselves to the rest of the state! This is an extremely rare opportunity for all of us, and especially the school and the athletic program. Let's make the most of it!

*UPDATE: the Bonanza Valley Voice sports department (me) is working on a team poster! I think I can pull this off this afternoon. *And the posters have been sent to the printer!!! Stay tuned on what locations they will be posted at.

FUN FACT: in the state semifinal game, B-B-E's bench players outscored SESM's bench players by a whopping 17 to 3 margin. Wow!

B-B-E started out with early 6-2 and 8-4 leads, and their defense shined the entire first half. They limited the most potent offense in Class 1A to just 17 points through the game's first 16-and-a-half minutes! Imagine that for a moment...that's not far off from just one point per minute of game clock. If that goes for a full game, they're not far off of 36 points for a 36-minute long game. And 36 points is the defensive average the Jaguars held coming into this game.

With 1:28 left in the first half, SESM's Sydney Windschitl sank two free throws to close a six-point deficit to a 23-19 score. That was the first points scored by the Knights since the 3:45 mark, when Madison Mathiowetz scored in the paint to give her team a 17-16 lead.

Overall, the first half featured six lead changes. The first lead change took place when SESM took a 9-8 lead with 11:40 left on a three-pointer by Reagan Severson. B-B-E led for the first six minutes of the game.

From the 11:40 mark to the 6:00 mark of the first half, the Knights either held the lead, or the game was tied. Karsee Kampsen earned a steal on the press with 7:15 left and scored to tie it at 13-13. Allisa Knight then broke the tie and gave B-B-E a 14-13 lead with a free throw with six minutes to go.

Just shy of two minutes passed on the game clock after that free throw by Knight before either team scored. With 4:10 left, Sydney Windschitl scored on a 10-foot shot to put SESM up 15-14.

Over a three-minute stretch from 6:00 to 3:00 in the first half, the lead changed five times. B-B-E went back in front with three minutes left on a layup by Knight for an 18-17 lead. The field goal started a 7-0 run by the Jaguars that also included a three-pointer by Harley Roering and a turnaround shot by Knight. That field goal by Knight made it 23-17 in favor of B-B-E with 1:44 left. 

SESM's offense, held in check in tremendous fashion by B-B-E's defense up to that point, scored five points to one for B-B-E over the last 88 seconds of the first half. That made the halftime score 24-22.

What B-B-E fans did not realize at halftime was that their Jaguars were in the midst of being outscored by an 11-1 margin. It was a difficult stretch of the game lasting from the 1:28 mark of the first half through the 13:10 mark of the second half. If you add it up, that's over six minutes of the game! That's one-sixth of the game! B-B-E's lone scoring came on a bonus free throw by Abby Berge with 29 seconds left in the first half. That free throw made it 24-22.

To start the second half, the Knights and Jaguars traded defensive blows to one another for the first 100 seconds. The Knights had a fast break going almost to precision in that time, but Allisa Knight got a terrific block on the layup with 16:34 left in the game.

SESM then busted the scoring lid on the second half with 16:20 left when Mathiowetz scored to tie the game at 24-24. Over a minute went by with no scoring, and Mathiowetz then scored again on a slicing layup with 15 minutes left to put the Knights ahead 26-24. That was their first lead of the game since the 3:45 mark of the first half when they led 17-16. By my math, that's almost seven minutes of the game where they were playing either from behind or on a tie.

SESM wasn't done, however, as they stretched it to a 28-24 lead with 14:20 left when Mathiowetz scored on a fast break pull up shot. At that point, that was B-B-E's biggest deficit of the game, and Coach Anderson called a timeout. The 11-1 scoring run by SESM was a big, ugly reality weighing on B-B-E's chances of a state championship berth.

The defenses continued to dominate the flow of the game, and over a minute passed with no scoring by either team while SESM held a 28-24 lead. That was altered in a big way when Josie Knutson pulled up on the right wing for a three-point shot with 13:10 left in the game. The ball SWOOSHED through the net, and B-B-E fans were on their feet! The lengthy field goal drought was over! It was B-B-E's first made field goal since Knight scored with 1:44 left in the first half, making it a six-plus minute field goal drought. 

Knutson made it clear to the Knights that they had to watch her closely on the arc, as the senior calmly knocked down another three-pointer from the same location with 12:36 left. B-B-E was on a fast break, and Knight had the assist to Knutson from the top of the key. I'll never forget her pass. It was timed perfectly, as SESM's defense collapsed on Knight near the free throw line.

SESM regained the lead at 33-32 with 11:45 left on a three-pointer by Severson. Mathiowetz scored in the paint a minute later for a 35-32 lead.

Knutson then scored a field goal on the free throw line with 10:30 left. Knight then capped a 7-0 scoring run with 6:40 left with a shot in the lane for a 39-35 lead.

SESM had multiple rallies over the last six minutes of the game, but they were unable to tie it or regain the lead. The Knights had cut it to 48-47 with 26 seconds to go, but B-B-E made the necessary free throws to earn the historic 51-50 win.

Here's a short video clip taken early in the first half of yesterday's game:

Gotta keep the wheels turning...

And this blog post is a wrap! Tomorrow I'll write about my poster fiasco that played out in front of my sleep-deprived eyes tonight.