Alexandria made sure Monticello's magic was exhausted in Wednesday's Class 3A quarterfinals. The Cardinals, now 21: 1, played on their first trip to this tournament for all these players without fear from the start.
Alexandria defended at a high level, putting five players in double digits on their way to a 75-53 win. The Cardinals reach the semi-finals at the Target Center on April 8 against Richfield (16: 4), who won against Mankato West (16: 5) on Wednesday.
"It's great for these guys first and foremost and it's great for our program as a whole," said Alexandria head coach Forrest Witt. “All of the young children and the children who have been on our program in the past. It's a collective effort. "
Alexandrias Kristen Hoskins will put up a three in the first half against Monticello in the state tournament on March 31, 2021. (Eric Morken / Echo Press)
Kristen Hoskins got the ball on Alexandria's first possession on the right wing and assessed the defense, which fell off well. Hoskins finally stopped and drained a three before looking back at the Magic Bank.
It was a sign of the future. Hoskins had three triples in the first half and the Cardinals had eight triples as a team in the first 18 minutes. You finished the game at 10.
"When you play against a unique defense like a triangle and two it can unbalance you mentally," said Witt. "Scoring a few shots early and attacking well was a good motivation and confidence for our boys."
Junior Guard Wyatt Odland is known for the defense he offers this team but he hit two big threesomes in the first half to get the ball rolling. Odland had eight points in the first few minutes that gave Alexandria a 38:29 lead during the break.
Alexandria Junior Guard Wyatt Odland will pitch a three from the right corner in the first half on March 31, 2021. Odland had two early threesomes that helped the Cardinals beat Monticello. (Eric Morken / Echo Press)
"He shot the ball really well in the last stretch of the season," said Witt. “It was huge for him to meet them. It gave us confidence offensively and he was really good defensively. He had a couple of tight block / load calls going against him. He took one too. He takes an average of one charge per game and also extends the defense with his shooting. Then he cuts well. He's a really smart player. "
Witt said his boys had two great drills ahead of Wednesday's game and seemed to be focused on the task at hand. It showed in the first few minutes and then how the Cardinals would react to a Monticello run to make it halfway a single-digit game.
Alexandria finished the game 10-0 to start the second half. Senior Guard Colton Roderick had five of his 21 strong points during this stretch, and Hoskins & # 39; driving layup put it in the lead at 15:37. After that, the magic had no more course.
Alexandria's junior guard, Carter Steffensmeier, is in the air before setting up the fast break against Monticello in the quarter-finals of Class 3A in St. Cloud on Wednesday evening. (Eric Morken / Echo Press)
Alexandria's offensive growth in terms of depth was fully seen. Carter Steffensmeier (10 points), Myles Sansted (10), Hoskins (13), Roderick (21) and Kobe Jenson all finished in double digits on an evening when one of the Cardinals' top scorers, Erik Hedstrom, had 3 points and the team still won with 22 points.
“The guys have just really settled into their roles. Everyone understands who can score, ”said Witt. “If Erik has two points, either Kobe or Wyatt will go up. Colton had a big game offensively. It was a gathering of guys and a number of top scorers who were really consistent from game to game … someone is always ready to step up and make a game. "
This is the blueprint of what Alexandria must do to give itself a chance to make the state championship game. The Cardinals game will take place at 1 p.m. on April 8th.
Alexandria senior guard Colton Roderick takes to the streets in the first half against Monticello on March 31, 2021. (Eric Morken / Echo Press)
With another win, the Cardinals guarantee at least part of their best place they have ever achieved in this state since they finished runner-up in the tournament a few years ago – in 1943.
“This thing didn't just start in November. We've put a foundation in place that is pretty solid and these people are taking that to another level, ”said Witt. "It's just exciting for the entire Alexandria basketball program."
ALEXANDRIA 38 37-75
MONTICELLO 29 24 – 53
ALEXANDRIA SCORING – Carter Steffensmeier – 10; Myles Sansted – 10; Wyatt Odland – 8; Kristen Hoskins – 13; Erik Hedstrom – 3; Colton Roderick – 21; Kobe Jenson – 10
MONTICELLO SCORING – Wyatt Sawatzke – 6; Aaron doll – 6; Gus Hangsleben – 9; Carson Kolles – 15; Calvin Schmitz – 15; Sam Valor – 2nd