All hands on deck
Depleted Knights fend off Lions, 41-36, in crosstown clash
With just six players on their active roster, the Our Redeemer’s Knights dug deep.
The crosstown classic lived up to its name on Tuesday, as the Knights (5-5) fended off a potential 17-point comeback by the Bishop Ryan Lions (2-7) in a 41-36 thriller.
Despite being outnumbered depth wise, Our Redeemer’s found production out of all six available players en route to the hard-earned home victory.
“Our girls logged a lot of minutes,” ORCS head coach Scott Peterson said. “But I’m so proud of them for stepping up, passing the ball and trusting each other.”
Our Redeemer’s showed no holes in its armor during the first quarter thanks to a red-hot start by Téa Boeckel, who opened up the game with a pair of made triples from the right corner.
The rest of the Knights recognized their teammate’s hot hand and fed the junior guard the ball. Boeckel kept shooting and kept finding the bottom of the net, drilling four three-pointers in the first quarter to give Our Redeemer’s a commanding 16-4 lead at the break.
“It’s nice when our team is able to drive in and kick it out to me,” Boeckel said. “Everybody just really wants to win, so it’s not about personal scoring. It’s just about who has the hot hand.”
Down but not out, the Lions slowly began to claw their way back into the contest. After allowing the deficit to grow to 17 points with just under five minutes left in the second quarter, Ryan ended the period on an 8-0 run to make it a 21-12 ball game at halftime.
But the Lions didn’t stop there. Ryan’s Sealy Rovig attacked the rim for a pair of tough layups in what became a 6-0 start to the third quarter, cutting Our Redeemer’s lead to just three points.
The Knights managed to hold onto the lead until 5:25 remained in the fourth quarter when junior Grace Candrian sank a pair of free throws to give the Lions a 28-27 advantage – their first lead since the score was 2-0.
“The way we responded after the first quarter was great,” Ryan head coach Roger Coleman said. “We just started to play hard and were competitive, but you can’t take a full quarter off and expect to win.”
Trailing 30-27 with 3:45 left to play, Our Redeemer’s Tessa Olson got the Knights back on track. The savvy senior attacked the rim, knocked down an acrobatic layup plus the foul and drilled the free throw to tie the game.
After another layup by Olson, Our Redeemer’s then found some much-needed production out of Kendal Braun. The sophomore went 3-for-4 on back-to-back trips to the charity stripe to boost the Knights’ lead up to 35-30 with 1:25 left in regulation.
The five-point advantage proved to be enough as the Knights went 6-for-8 at the line in the final minute to secure the 41-36 victory.
Rovig finished with 11 points, while senior Sydney Lovelace added 10 points in the loss. Olson recorded a game-high 17 points for the Knights, and Boeckel tallied 16 points in a win that tested both the team’s endurance and resiliency.
“This was a really good win for us,” Olson said. “We really had to push it in the fourth quarter, make our free throws and grab some rebounds, which we did.”
Next up for Ryan is a road game against Mohall-Lansford-Sherwood on Thursday at 7:15 p.m., while the Knights shift their focus to a home game against Surrey on Thursday at 7 p.m.
Justin Martinez covers Minot High School sports and Class B high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @JTheSportsDude.