Taking on the St. Charles Saints at home on March 2, Caledonia solidified its advancement to the quarterfinals of the section tournament, winning 96-71.
The Saints started strong, coming out the gate with two 3-pointers and a jumper in the paint for a quick eight points. Garrett Konz (No. 10) kept the Warriors in it, however, draining a 3-pointer of his own, as well as nailing a hard drive. Konz also made the assist, passing to Ethan Stendel (No. 14) under the hoop for two. With Caledonia down by three, five minutes into the first, the Saints attempted a wild pass that went out of bounds, allowing the Warriors to regain possession.
Though Mason King (No. 5) was unable to connect behind the arc, Stendel got the rebound, kicking the ball back out to an open Konz for the 3-pointer. Now a tied game, St. Charles responded with his own 3 point shot, only for Lewis Doyle (No. 2) to come right back with a 3-pointer of his own for the Warriors. Despite the Saints earning a bucket and briefly pulling ahead, Doyle drove down the lane, drawing defenders and allowing a strategic pass to King under the basket for two. Under pressure, Caledonia quickly reclaimed the ball, with Konz making an impressive drive for 2 and putting the Warrior up by two with a little over three minutes left in the first.
Ending the half strong, Will Hahn (No. 30) banked his first 3-pointer of the night, whereas Doyle nailed a mid-range jumper for two. Doyle additionally drew the foul, making the and 1. Getting hot, the Warriors saw multiple three point successes towards the end of the first, as Hahn and King landed two more near back to back 3-pointers. Reid Klug (No. 3) also contributed, making a 3-pointer splash at the rim, while also managing to come back and steal for an additional two points.
The score was 47-31 at the half, with Caledonia up by 16.
Coming out of halftime with fire, Klug drained an easy two. Stendel also blocked two shot attempts from the Saints, but fouled. At the line twice, the Saints managed to land all four free throws, putting the score at 49-35. Setting the tone for the rest of the game, Doyle rebounded off a failed 3-point attempt by the Saints, driving for two and drawing the foul. Making the and one, Caledonia’s lead continued to grow, as St. Charles traveled, allowing the Warriors to regain possession and opened the door for King to swish a wide open 3-pointer.
Ben Stemper (No. 1) also attempted a 3-point shot. Though the shot did not go, Stendel was quick with the rebound and the follow through for 2. Stemper later drew important fouls, where he made one of two free throws. Stealing the rock from the Saints, Klug passed to Caleb Conniff (No. 11) in the paint. Though the shot was a no-go, Payton Konz (No. 15) came in with the rebound follow through for 2. Stemper later passed to Hahn in the lane for a quick two, putting the score at 78-48 with under six minutes to play.
Austin Pronschinske (No. 24) and Tyler Hoscheit (No. 33) increased Caledonia’s lead, with both players making jumpers in the lane. Eric Welscher (No. 23) also attempted a hard drive. Though the drive did not result in a basket, Welscher drew the foul and made both free throws.
Caledonia, the No. 3 seed, takes on No. 6 seed Chatfield at 7:30 p.m. March 7 in the Mayo Civic Arena in Rochester. The winner plays the winner between No. 2 Plainview-Elgin-Millville and No. 7 Zumbrota-Mazeppa. On the other side of the bracket No. 1 Lake City is up against No. 8 Rochester Lourdes. And No. 4 Cannon Falls faces No. 5 La Crescent-Hokah.
Reach associate editor Rachel Stock at 507-724-3475.
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