Maple River boys cruise to section finals
By Joe Steck – Mankato Times
MANKATO, MINN. — The Maple River boys’ basketball team defeated St. James 74-48 in the semifinals of the Section 2AA, South Subsection playoffs Friday at Mankato East High School.
With the win, the Eagles improve to 25-3 while Saints end their season with a 7-19 record.
Maple River controlled the game from the start building a 16 point 27-11 lead with a little over four minutes to play in the half before St. James battled their way back into the game, closing the gap to 23-32 into the half.
“We let up on our defense towards the end of the first half,” said Maple River head coach Chad Ostermann “We have to defend the ball better, especially if we expect to keep advancing in the playoffs.”
The Eagles picked up their defense in the second half which allowed them to go on a 19-0 scoring run, building an insurmountable 58-29 lead. At this point, coach Ostermann started to mix in their bench players who helped the Eagles to a 74-48 victory.
“We played a lot better defense in the second half, especially the first 10 minutes,” Coach Ostermann said “It was really nice to see the kids passing the ball a lot to get the open shots.”
Cole Sohre led the Eagles in scoring with 20 points while pulling down 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals. Brandon Sohre scored 13 points and led the team with 7 assists and 5 rebounds. Will Keller knocked down 10 points and led the team with 4 steals and 5 rebounds.
Brady Stevens led St. James with 18 points while Sandin Skow scored 14 points.
Alec Bair, a 6’3” senior center, came off the bench late in the game and picked up 3 rebounds for the Eagles.
“This is the first year I have played organized basketball since 5th grade,” said Bair “I have been skiing during the winter and always wanted to play basketball and decided that this was the year to try out again.”
Bair says his favorite class is Astronomy and is glad he made the decision to play in his senior year.
“I think I made the right choice,” he said
Bair said he has the same mindset going into the game as a starter “You have to be ready to contribute to the team when they need you,” he said “I am just looking to play.”
When asked what he looks for when he gets into the game, Bair was quick to respond “The dunk”.
Maple River will play Waterville-Elysian-Morristown in the subsection championship game tonight (Monday) at Minnesota State University’s Bresnan Arena with a scheduled 8:00 pm tip-off.
The two teams split this year with Maple River winning 62-49 at home and WEM winning 65-57 on their home court.
Scoring: Wyatt Johnson 6, Brandon Sohre 13, Jeff Lewis 9, Mason Sohre 6, Andrew Albrecht 3, Cole Sohre 20, Ethan Sindelir 5, Sam Bennett 2, Will Keller 10.