Knights get payback with 62-58 win over WEM
SLEEPY EYE — She wasn’t the top scorer for No. 3-ranked Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s Friday night, but that didn’t stop Reagan Severson from making a big impact late for her team when it mattered most.
Severson’s clutch free throws, hustle on defense and blocked shot in the closing seconds of Friday night’s nonconference girls’ basketball game with No. 9-ranked Waterville-Elysian-Morristown helped the Knights pick up a 62-58 win.
The win gave the Knights a little bit of payback after their Section 2A finals loss to WEM in 2020.
Severson finished the game with 6 points, but she knocked in a pair of free throws with 38.2 seconds left to give the Knights a 62-58 lead. Twenty seconds later, she dove for a loose ball on defense, leading to a jump ball and forcing the Buccaneers to reset their offense.
Then with less than 10 seconds to play, Severson blocked a jump shot that led to the Knights getting the ball back with just a few ticks on the clock left. St. Mary’s was then able to inbound the ball and run off the rest of the clock.
Severson was also playing most of the second half with four fouls.
“I didn’t even look at the scoreboard, I knew it was close, but I didn’t look at the scoreboard,” Severson said. “I kind of just kept going. I knew that we were in the final stretch, I didn’t know the time, but I knew that in that final stretch, you give it your all.”
Madison Mathiowetz led the Knights with 30 points, eight rebounds, three assists and three steals, while Sydney Windschitl had 16 points, eight rebounds and three steals.
WEM was led by Brielle Bartelt, who had 27 points. Toryn Richards also had 16 points for WEM, while Kylie Pittmann added 9 points.
The Knights started the first half out well, taking a 21-15 lead after a pair of free throws by Mathiowetz. WEM began chipping away at the Knights’ lead, however, and forced the Knights to burn a timeout with 7:10 left in the opening half.
St. Mary’s had a few empty trips up the floor and WEM capitalized, going on a 13-0 run to lead 30-23. During the run, Bartelt had a layup and a pair of 3s.
The Knights got five free throws to close out the half, three from Mathiowetz and two from Liz Schwint, and trailed 34-30 at halftime.
Bartelt sank another 3 to start the second half before Windschitl answered with a 3. That 3 kicked off a 13-0 run for the Knights that put them ahead 43-37. Windschitl had just 4 points in the first half but picked things up offensively in the second half.
The Knights’ largest lead of the night was by 11, but WEM battled back to trail 60-58 after a steal and layup from Bartelt with less than a minute to play. That was the closest WEM got after that, as Severson helped the Knights anchor down for the win.
The win helps keep St. Marys’ unbeaten season in tact as it improves to 15-0 overall, while the Bucs dropped to 12-3 with the loss.
These two teams have a shot of meeting again in the postseason, and Severson said that her team will be ready if it happens.
“I think we know that now that we beat them, they’re going to come back at us for revenge because we got revenge on them,” Severson said. “But it’s going to push us to work way harder in practice, and we know what to prepare for and we know what we’ll see.”