Sartell made the road trip to conference rival Willmar Tuesday night. It was another defensive and very physical battle against the Cardinals JV squad. Both teams played very hard nosed and physical defense and the refs were letting them play by calling minimal fouls. This created the prime environment for both teams to display and develop some grittiness. With that, both teams were having some trouble putting the ball in the basket. Sartell got a couple of much needed buckets eventually, but Willmar had a 5 point edge at halftime. In the second half, Willmar, was able to eventually build it out to a 9 point lead (which seemed like 20 the way the game was going with buckets very hard to come by). Sartell executed better on offense, and took much better shots in the second half. The Sabres were able to get some sparks from several players and get enough stops and force enough turnovers to claw back. With a little over a minute in the game, the score was 40-38 in Willmar’s favor. Sartell had a hard drive to the basket and did get fouled. The Sabres hit on both clutch free throws to tie the game up 40-40. On the other end, Sartell got a huge steal with about a minute left, and were able to move the ball around on offense and avoid pressure and wind the clock all the way down to about 12 seconds. This is very tough to do, and well executed by the Sabres. With 12 seconds to go, Willmar came out with some great pressure, Sartell handled it, made a key pass to a wide open player for a layup, and a Willmar player made a very athletic play, and came out of no where to block the ball out of bounds. This left .8 seconds on the clock. Sartell called a timeout, drew up a play, and went out and executed a lob play beautifully. The pass was perfect, the recipient was very strong and went up high to get it, and finish the shot through contact to seal the huge comeback win. Sartell trailed for the vast majority of the game, but the players never gave up. They continued to play very tough defense which always keeps them in the game, and were able to keep executing well enough on offense, and complete enough clutch free throws (6-6 all in the second half), and shots to come back. The Sabres displayed and developed grit, hard work, hustle, toughness, and perseverance throughout the game (and season). The Sabres prepare for a rematch versus St. Cloud Tech at Tech on Friday night.
- 42 Sartell High School
- 40 Willmar High School
|Sartell High School||vs||Willmar High School|