The Sting boys played Central Minnesota Christian in their Thursday night playoff game. Bennet Knapper and Carter Sneller put YME on the board quickly. The Sting did a great job controlling the ball, moving it around, balancing patience and aggressiveness. CMC hit several 3-pointers to tie the score. The game was fast paced, back and forth scoring. The CMC defense was tough, YME shooters started diving into the paint with varying success. Knapper went on a hot streak, scoring two 3-point shots, two free throws, and a layup in short order to put YME in the lead 24-23. The Sting finished the first half down a point 29-30.
During the second half, the back and forth trend continued. YME went on another hot streak in the middle of the half. Nicky Lindstrom hit a three and two free throws, Carter Sneller hit a layup, and Knapper hit another 3, putting the Sting up 48-42, the biggest gap of the game.
With two minutes left, CMC kicked into overdrive, they were down 49-50. The Bluejays scored a few baskets and took frequent timeouts to stall the clock. With 30 seconds left, YME was down by 2, they needed a basket. Carter Sneller fouled, the CMC player hit his free throws, and Nicky Lindstrom missed a last second 3-point shot, ending the game with a Sting loss 55-59.
Coach Suter reported, “Going in to this game, the boys felt confident. We were excited with the way we were playing down the stretch, winning three in a row, and five of the last seven. I think the boys went into this game expecting to win, not just hoping, it makes tonight tough.”
“Rebounding has been a point of emphasis for the back half of the season. I think for the most part we were aggressive, there were a couple 50-50 balls that didn’t go our way. We fought hard to get it to within one point at half time, so we felt good at that point. Tonight was a game of runs. In the middle of the second half we got ahead by six. We were trying to find something that let us play the ball a little more freely, I think the Bluejays played really good defense tonight. They covered the shooters they needed to and used really long reaches, making it tough to do stuff. They went on a run right at the end.”
“This season we faced a lot of adversity. We had some injuries, bumps and bruises and more serious injuries, Cole Richter’s knee, Trent Skjefte got stitches in his thumb. They could have easily thrown in the towel three or four weeks ago when our record was 1-15. I’m very proud we finished the way we did. It’s always hard watching the seniors as they experience their “lasts” as they work towards graduation.”
“It’s exciting to see the guard we have returning next year. Our two leading scorers are coming back, Bennet Knapper and Carter Sneller. Dalton Anderson played his best game of the year tonight. It was nice to see him finish on a high note. Jahrell and Chetwin Ischmon have been a blast to work with. We have a promising future.”
Yellow Medicine East
Points: Nicky Lindstrom 5, Cole Richter 4, Bennet Knapper 18, Carter Sneller 12, Ethan Peterson 1, Trent Skjefte 9, Dalton Anderson 6
3 point shots: Knapper 4
Free throws: Lindstrom 3, Knapper 2, Sneller 4, Peterson 1, Skjefte 1, Anderson 2
Blocks: Anderson 1
Rebounds: Lindstrom 5, Richter 1, Knapper 2, Sneller 2, Skjefte 9, Anderson 1
Steals: Lindstrom 1, Knapper 2, Sneller 1, Peterson 3, Ischmon 2, Skjefte 1, Anderson 1
Central Minnesota Christian
Points: Simon Van Dyken 10, Jake Meyer 13, Austin TeBrake 20, Mason Beekman 2, Jay Marcus 2, Macah Vander Beek 1, Peter Martin 11
3 point shots: Van Dyken 2, Meyer 1, TeBrake 4, Martin 1
Free Throws: Meyer 2, TeBrake 2, Vander Beek 1, Martin 2
Rebounds: Meyer 1, TeBrake 3, Marcus 1, Vander Beek 2, Ruschen 1
Steals: Meyer 1