Girls’ basketball prepares for tough Section Tournament


Ginny Lyons

The team finished 7-7 in Conference play.

After finishing the regular season with a strong 16-8 record, the BSM girls’ varsity basketball squad enters the Section 6AAA Tournament as the 3-seed, poised to make a deep run.

BSM started the season off red-hot, going on a winning tear that lasted over a month. “In the beginning of this year’s season, we won close to 10 games in a row. That really boosted our confidence,” junior captain Izzy Fleming said. Unfortunately, a long stretch of tough conference games ended that streak. Nevertheless, the Red Knights’ 7-7 conference record was still a 2-game improvement upon that of the previous year.

The team believes that their experience, thanks to a wealth of juniors and seniors atop their roster, will be what finally propels them through Sections and to the State Tournament. Despite having a better record this season than in their previous two, their success hasn’t come as a surprise to anyone. “The season has gone about as expected, we are more experienced as a team, I feel, than in prior years and I think our record shows that,” junior captain Cheyanne Carter said.

Their balanced roster is what has been the key to their consistent results throughout the season. “Izzy and Aiana have been big scorers all year, but we also have Chey who has great court sense, Ginny who’s a good spot shooter, and then Tootie and Hannah who lead our defense,” Olivia Pohlen, one of the team’s senior captains, said.

Consistent play alone, however, may not be enough to get them to the other side. The key components of communication and teamwork will be more integral than ever to the Red Knight’s success in Sections. “To do well in Sections I think it’s important that we continue to work as a team. Communication is huge, especially in some of our first games of Sections because these are teams we never played during the regular season,” Pohlen said.

BSM’s road to State will be a difficult one though. Section 6AAA boasts some of the most impressive teams in the class. A few of the captains agreed that Cooper, the 1-seed in this year’s tournament, is the biggest threat. “We definitely need to watch out for Cooper, they’ve been really successful this season and they just moved down from 4A. Orono and Waconia are strong as well,” Carter said.

The girls are gunning to get revenge on a Cooper team that beat them twice during the regular season, but wouldn’t potentially face them until the Section finals. “I think we just need to take it game by game. We won’t be able to get to the Section final game until we beat two teams, so our goal is to focus on working hard in practice to win our game on Wednesday right now,” Pohlen said.

Practices for the Red Knights’ will be business as usual, but with a lot more on the line. “We spend a lot of practice reviewing plays, making sure we know where to go. We also do shooting drills to keep sharp, and we work on our defensive assignments. It is a lot of mental focus and knowing where to go. Once Sections come, there isn’t room for mistakes, so we all have to know what to do all the time,” Fleming said.

BSM will take on the 6-seeded Dassel-Cokato in the first round of the Section Tournament at 7:00 pm on Wednesday, February 28th at home.