Waterville-Elysian-Morristown Girls Ride Threes to First State Tournament
A night after the Waterville-Elysian-Morristown boys connected on 12 three point baskets in a subsection game the ladies cranked out 14 triples in a 79-68 win over Sleepy Eye St. Mary's. The win punched the Buccaneers ticket to their first ever trip to the MSHSL Girls State High School Basketball Tournament.
With 4 girls connecting on more than one three point basket each in the game at Bresnan Arena in the Taylor Center on the Minnesota State University campus the Bucaneers grabbed the lead.
Junior 5'6 Brielle Bartelt led the offensive firepower with 29 points, 4 three point baskets and four consecutive free throws late when the Knights were trying for a miraculous comeback. Junior 5"5 Ellie Ready also connected on four three point baskets and hit four pressure packed free throws down the stretch.
Classmate 5"10 Toryn Richards had a pair of threes finishing with 14 points and was 6 of 7 at the charity stripe in the second half. Junior 5'9 Kylie Pittman hit four bombs in the first half to finish with 12 points.
The Buccaneers were 17 of 24 from the free throw line while Sleepy Eye St. Mary's was 7 of 13. The reason for the disparity was the fact the Buccaneers built a lead late and the Knights were forced to foul to try and lengthen the game.
WEM took a 38-33 lead at the half thanks in large part to 8 first half three point baskets. They also scored 7 points off 7 Knights turnovers. The Buccaneers had a 11-3 lead early before SESM took a lead following a nice run.
Sleepy Eye St. Mary's sophomore 5'9 Madison Mathiowetz put on an incredible display of heart pouring in 42 points. She came into the game with a 29 points per game average.
Waterville-Elysian-Morristown Head Coach Tyler Kaus told us before the game the key would be containing the talented player. Mathiowetz's long range shot was not working early so she posted up and contorted her body every which way with an uncanny ability to finish without being square to the basket.
I saw a sign being held up by Sleepy Eye St. Mary's students that read, "We gave up losing for lent." The Knights do not have a senior on their team so a rematch next year would not be out of the question.
Sleepy Eye St. Mary's ended their season 25-3. WEM enters state competition next week with a 26-4 mark. Seeds will be made this weekend. As soon as we see them we will post them on the KDHL and POWER 96 websites.
Class A action will begin Thursday.
The Buccaneers played in their first ever Section title game tonight and passed their test with flying colors. Coach Kaus and his staff had several athletes take turns covering Mathiowetz and then packed in a zone to try and stop her dribble drives. It did help in the half court but the sophomore was so good at stealing balls and going the other way for layups.