Mathiowetz scores 38, Knights eliminate GFW

Staff photo by Travis Rosenau Sleepy Eye St. Marys’ Morgan Mathiowetz (3) dribbles the ball while guarded by Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop’s Halle Bleick (24) during a Section 2A Girls Basketball Tournament game at St. Mary’s High School.

SLEEPY EYE — Despite a stout Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop defense and early lead by the Thunderbirds, it didn’t take Morgan Mathiowetz and the Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s Knights long to break through during Monday night’s Section 2A North Subsection Girls Basketball Tournament game.

Behind Mathiowetz’s 38 points, nine rebounds and six steals, the third-seeded Knights rolled to a 79-47 win over the sixth-seeded Thunderbirds and punched their ticket to the quarterfinals.

“This just gave us a little boost of confidence,” Mathiowetz said. “We came in her ready to go, GFW plays great defense, so we knew we were going to see that from them. But we had to trust in our offense and I think we moved the ball very well tonight. We trusted in each other, we just need to work on our rebounding a little bit more, which we’re going to get after in practice before Thursday. Obviously a good win, which we were looking forward to getting after.”

The Knights will take on second-seeded Sleepy Eye in the quarterfinals at 7:45 p.m. Thursday at Sibley East High School.

Also for the Knights, who improved to 20-7 after Monday’s game, Olivia Schieffert had 11 points, three assists and three steals, while Brynne Ibberson had 10 points, seven rebounds and four steals. Natalie Fischer was the fourth Knight in double figures with 10 points and five rebounds, while Kylie Pelzel added 8 points.

GFW, which ended its season with an 11-16 overall mark, was led by Jenna Schweiss’s 15 points, while Taylor Bauer had 9 points and Marti Jacobson had 7 points.

Taylor Schafer have the Thunderbirds the first lead of the game before Mathiowetz’s runner and Pelzel’s 3 put the Knights up 5-4. Schweiss hit a pair of free throws and a 3 to put GFW back in front 7-5, but a layup by Mathiowetz and a 3 by Ibberson ignited a 13-0 run that had the Knights up 18-7 and prompted a GFW timeout with 10:29 left in the half.

Nicole Duehn scored off the glass inside for GFW to stop the run and GFW cut the deficit to 20-15 after Trinity Stearns put back a missed free throw and Bauer hit a pair of free throws. The Knights went on another long run after that, however, this time a 12-0 run to lead 32-15, before a corner 3 by Stearns ended it.

The Knights led 43-25 at the half.

The Knights continued their offensive dominance in the second half, invoking running time after a 3 by Fischer put her team up 77-40 in the final minutes of the game.


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