NEW ULM - Sleepy Eye St. Mary's Knights girls basketball fans got the Christmas present they wanted Thursday night.
Knights senior guard Maddy Helget became the seventh St. Mary's player to score 1,000 career points on a NBN (Nothing But Net) trey with 1:03 left in the first half that helped pace St. Mary's to a 66-39 victory over the Truman Bluejays.
Helget's accomplishment comes on the heels of a tough loss this week to Wabasso.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s Maddy Helget drives to the basket for a shot during the second half of the Knights’ win Thursday against Truman. Helget scored her 1,000th career point during the first half of the game.
"I wanted to make sure we didn't linger on the loss to Wabasso," Helget said. "Tonight, I was nervous, but relaxed. It's just a weight off my shoulders. I've been blessed to be able to play every game since I was a freshman. Plus, we're all good friends on and off the court. I just want to go to the playoffs and get to state."
Knights coach Bruce Woitas has had the pleasure of coaching Helget since she came on the St. Mary's scene.
"Maddy's an offensive type player and has been our leading offensive scorer," Woitas said. "She's a team player who spends a lot of time in the gym. It's also a tribute to her teammates and who she's played with. She had a good night and it's nice to see it happen at the break and on her home court."
The game itself was hardly in doubt from the start, as Helget was good for five of the first nine Knights points for a 9-4 St. Mary's lead. The Knights stretched that margin to 20-10 with 8:10 left in the half on a short jumper from Nikki Carr.
Needing 19 points to reach her milestone, Helget wasn't automatically fed the ball from her teammates, but made good use when she did get it, nailing three 3-pointers, a short jumper and a free throw before the magic moment.
Up 33-14, Helget swished her fifth 3-pointer and play stopped for a moment for a mid-court celebration before the Knights turned back to the first matter at hand: a win against the Bluejays.
St. Mary's took a 39-17 lead into halftime,and never gave the young Truman team any reason to believe it could get back into the game. The Bluejays got plenty of shots, but most didn't make it through the hoop, and by the time Truman's Emily Zaharia tossed up two consecutive three pointers, it cut the Knights margin to just 64-36 with less than four minutes left in the game.
Helget led all scorers with 30 points, while Truman's Cleo Maloney paced the Bluejays with 12.
St. Mary's resumes play January 4 at Minnesota Valley Lutheran.