Sleepy Eye cruises by Cathedral in 2A playoffs

Staff photo by Jeff Meder Sleepy Eye’s Brea Mertz looks to pass the ball while guarded by New Ulm Cathedral’s Shay Wilfahrt (right) and Maddie Gilles (5) during a Section 2A Girls Basketball Tournament game at Sleepy Eye High School on Monday night.

By Jeff Meder

Journal Sports Writer

SLEEPY EYE — Sleepy Eye cruised past New Ulm Cathedral 74-40 on Monday in the quarterfinals of the Section 2A North Subsection girls basketball tournament.

No. 2-seeded Sleepy Eye (24-3) will now play No. 3-seeded Sleepy Eye St.Mary’s (20-7) at 7:45 pm on Thursday at Sibley East High School in Arlington. Cathedral ends its season with a record of 13-15.

Sleepy Eye made some halftime adjustments which included a fast-paced offense. It would either get a steal or a rebound and quickly push the ball up the floor. The result was additional points for it while Cathedral struggled to gain any momentum.

Cathedral tried to use a press, but it didn’t affect Sleepy Eye’s movement of the ball up the floor. It also used its height advantage when a team member would miss a shot. It was able to secure a number of second-chance baskets.

The Indians opened up the second half with a 14-0 run. During that run, Brissa Hernandez passed the ball to Breaunna Mertz, who scored on a fast-break layup. On the next play, Paige Haala passed the ball to Kadence Hesse, who scored on another fast-break layup.

Mertz added another basket off a Cathedral turnover, which made it 54-27. Hesse scored on the next trip down the floor on a second-chance basket. Cathedral’s Olivia Macho ended the run with two free throws.

Hesse teamed up with Haala on back-to-back fast-break layups which came off Cathedral turnovers.

Several plays later, Haala got into the act scoring two consecutive layups off Greyhound turnovers.

Jenna Hotovec scored the Greyhound’s final 2 points on two free throws. Kayla Hecht and Jace Schauman scored on back-to-back fastbreak layups for the final score.

Cathedral gave its fans some hope for the roughly one-half of the first half. It led 3-0, 3-2 and 6-4. Mertz’s 3 regained the lead for Sleepy Eye at 7-6. Cadence Okerman’s 3 on the next play gave Sleepy a 9-6 lead.

The Greyhounds battled back to tie it at 14-14 when Shay Wilfahrt scored and Maddie Gilles hit a 3. The Indians answered with an 11-0 run.

Sleepy Eye tried to pull away, but Cathedral did its best to hang around. Gilles canned a 3 just as the shot clock buzzer sounded. That basket made it 28-19 for Sleepy Eye.

The Indians began to pull away after that and they held a 44-27 halftime advantage.

Haala led Sleepy Eye with 21 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals. Mertz added 18 points. Hesse had 16 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. Okerman chipped in 14 points and she had six rebounds.

Hotovec and Wilfahrt led the Greyhounds with 13 points each, while Gilles and Ava Krueger each had 6 points.


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