Big second half lifts Knights past Chargers

Staff photo by Jeremy Behnke Minnesota Valley Lutheran’s Abbie Riederer dribbles up the floor as Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s Katelyn Rutscher (20) and Madison Mathiowetz (3) defend on the play.

NEW ULM — Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s took sole possession of first place in the Tomahawk Conference with an 82-60 victory over Minnesota Valley Lutheran on Tuesday.

MVL (13-4, 9-1) was led by Abbie Riederer, who scored 24 points, 12 in each half. Kaylee Hunter finished with 13 points while Mia Johnson scored 10 points.

St. Mary’s was led by Madison Mathiowetz, who had 33 points. Allie Labat finished with 20 points and Reagan Severson scored 13.

“We knew going into this that we were going to win by playing good defense,” said St. Mary’s junior Liz Schwint, who finished with 6 points. “Especially stepping in on some of their bigger scorers like Riederer specifically.”

The teams were even for most of the first half as they traded baskets and the lead a few times. But the Knights pulled away after Severson hit a 3-pointer and later a three-point play to put her team up 22-16. She later put her team up 25-16 on a basket and a free throw and the Knights led 41-31 at halftime.

However, that lead quickly grew in the second half and Mathiowetz’s 3 put the Knights up 55-41. Later, another 3 made it 64-43 and the Knights didn’t let up.

“I feel like we got the rebound and really pushed it up the floor and they just couldn’t keep up, we had a couple wide-open layups just from running the floor,” Schwint said.

The Knights improved to 16-1 on the season and 11-0 in the conference. The teams will meet again on February 17 at St. Mary’s.

“We were kind of worried it was going to be canceled because we had a two-hour late start, but this felt really good to be able to play them, we’ve played everyone in the first round and we’re the only team without a loss, but we know that we have a couple games coming up that are going to be tough also and we just need to continue to work hard,” Schwint said.


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