The Minneota Girls Varsity Basketball Team competing at St. Ben’s included: (Front row, left to right) Megan McNeil, Kelsey Hennen and Jamie Lundberg. Middle row Katelynn Kack, Sara Maeyaert and Kayla Maeyaert. Back row: Amber Grengs, Taya Kockelman and Ashlynn Muhl. Not pictured: RachelCheadle. Special Photo.
By Byron Higgin
Sixteen teams expected to be the best (four from each division), squared off in the Pacesetters Sweet 16 girls‘ Basketball Tournament at St. Ben’s at St. Cloud last weekend and Minneota’s varsity squad came away with a 2-2 record against some of the state’s best teams.
“We looked good running the floor,” said Assistant Coach Dale Kockelman.
“When you get the ball to Kelsey Hennen you get up and down the court in a hurry,” Kockelman said about Minneota’s point guard.
The Vikings were among four Division 1A schools, including Sebeka, Goodhue and Barnum.
But they played much larger schools.
In the first round Minneota beat Hawley from Division 2 by seven points.
They were outclassed by one of the best teams in Division 4A, Lakeville North, and lost that game by a wide margin.
“We beat Bloomington Kennedy. In that game Kelsey Hennen was hurt and Ashlynn Muhl fouled out,” said Kockelman.
In the finals they lost to 2A Braham, a state entrant the past couple of years.
“We fell way behind early but made a big run and lost by 11 points,” Kockelman said.
Head Coach Chad Johnston and assistant Dale Kockelman coached the team through Saturday. “Because Sunday was August 1, we were not allowed to keep coaching,” Kockelman said.
On Sunday Steve Hennen and Ken Muhl, players’ fathers, coached the team.
“The dads stepped in,” said Kockelman.
He said the tournament found, “Everyone doing something well.”
(More in the Mascot, 8-4-2010)