Maple Grove Girls Basketball Ready for Section Championship Game
Mar 07, 2018 08:21PM
● By Doug Erlien
For the first time since 2011, the Maple Grove girls basketball team will play in the section championship game on Thursday, March 8 when the Crimson face St. Michael Albertville at 6:00 p.m. at Buffalo High School.
“Anytime as a coach when you get ready for a big game you think ‘Did we give them everything they need to be successful?” Crimson Head Coach Mark Cook said. “These girls got it, they have bought in, and now we need to go execute.”
The competition is no stranger to the big stage. The Knights have a roster loaded with young talent, but plenty of experience playing in big games.
“We’re playing a really good basketball team that’s played on this stage before,” Cook said. “They are going to be very comfortable in a section championship atmosphere. Our girls need to be able to handle that and breathe through it. They’ve got the tools, they just need to be able to trust themselves.”
STMA defeated the Crimson 60-47 during the Knight’s holiday tournament, a game that was the worst loss of the season for Maple Grove.
Through the course of the season, it has been the Maple Grove defense that has set the stage for the programs first opportunity to advance to the state tournament for the first time in seven years.
“Our half court man-to-man defense is as good as anybody’s,” Cook said about his teams improvements during the season. “Our ability to calm down on the offensive end has also come a long way.”
Defensively, the Crimson are allowing 32.5 points per game during the postseason including holding Moorhead to 42 points in the section semifinal.
The Knights are 25-3 on the season and have won 14 games in a row and are led by junior Jadyn Hanson and sophomore Mackenzie Kramer who average 13.8 and 14.8 points per game.
1) Handle pressure
2) Win rebounding battle
3) Not let the moment be too big