ST. PETER - When arguably the best player on the team is benched due to injury and the ball is turned over 23 times, the results are going to be far south of pretty.
Too many turnovers and no Sarah Burk were too much for the No. 1 seeded Minnesota Valley Lutheran Chargers as they lost to the second seeded Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity Bulldogs 55-46 Tuesday night in the Section 2A, North championship at Gustavus Adolphus College.
"The team brought effort, energy and intensity, but we turned the ball over way too many times," MVL coach Dave Biedenbender said. "They (LP/HT) took care of the ball and they won. We lost to a very good team."
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
Minnesota Valley Lutheran’s Chrissy Biedenbender goes up for a lay up as Karlea Kyllo (3) of Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity defends on the play during the first half of the Section 2A, North Subsection championship game Wednesday at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter.
The Chargers started off strong, especially Anna Munsen in the middle. Munsen scored six of MVL's first seven points and the Chargers went on a 8-0 run to turn a 7-4 deficit into a 12-7 lead.
MVL clung to a lead and kept Bulldogs 1,000-point scorer Courtney Scoblic at bay until she scored four in a row to tie it at 23-23. Mariah Schoof's second 3-pointer of the half with 10 seconds left gave the Chargers a 28-27 halftime lead.
The final tie came at 30-30 early in the second half, but MVL turned the ball over four times in the opening minutes and missed three shots in a row. Meanwhile, LP/HT began to find Scoblic by the basket, as she scored six straight and helped the Bulldogs take a 38-32 lead.
A Charlotte Pfingsten trey cut that lead, and a 3-pointer from the corner from Chrissy Biedenbender reduced the Bulldogs' margin to 41-38. But the real damage to MVL came with four minutes left in the contest and LP/HT gripping a 49-44 bulge.
Four turnovers in a row and a Scoblic shot block allowed the Bulldogs to start slowing things down with 2:40 remaining. Meanwhile, the Chargers started to look tired on the court, committing a crucial foul after a missed offensive shot, then allowing a jump ball to go to LP/HT with just 1:43 left and the score still standing at 49-44.
The Bulldogs then decided to launch a long pass inbounds instead of the more conventional close pass. Scoblic caught the ball three-quarters of the way down the court and lobbed it home, sealing the game for the Bulldogs with a 51-44 lead with less than 90 seconds left. LP/HT hit four more free throws to end the scoring.
Scoblic led all scorers with 24 points, with Munsen leading the way for MVL with 15 points.
The Chargers end their season with a 23-5 record.