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Eagles eliminate Knights from tournament | News, Sports, Jobs

ST. PAUL – Sacred Heart had a certain size and a certain tenacity. Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s had to worry Thursday afternoon in the Class A boys’ basketball consolation semifinals at the Gangelhoff Center.

Unfortunately for the Knights, that wasn’t all Sacred Heart had as he hit seven 3-pointers in the first half to set the tone on the way to a 69-52 win.

The loss ends the Knights’ season with a 28-4 overall record.

Senior forward Carson Domeier led the Knights with 19 points, four rebounds and eight assists, while senior guard Trent Steffensmeier added 11 points. Kaleb Wait also had 8 points, eight rebounds and three assists for the Knights.

The Eagles were led by Kobe Tomkinson with 33 points, while Ethan Arntson had 17 points and Sam Gapp. The Eagles will then play the game for fifth place at 8 a.m. Saturday.

“We were worried about their size inside and I thought we were probably focusing on that,” Knights head coach Judd Walter said of Sacred Heart. “Hats off to them. They moved the ball very well and they were able to knock them down. So it was a big hole that we dug ourselves into early.

While the Knights took the game’s first lead and hit their inside shot straight away, the Eagles relied on their peripheral shot to take matters into their own hands. The Knights got their first three baskets on inside shots from Jacob Stevens, Wait and Domeier, but the Eagles responded to each of those buckets with 3s from Tomkinson, Gapp and Arntson. The Eagles got their fourth 3 of the day from Arntson to take a 12-6 lead.

When Sacred Heart got their first field goal of the game that didn’t come from the 3-point line, it still ended in 3-pointers after Arntson had a one-and-one with 12:44 to give the Eagles a lead from 15-6.

Sacred Heart extended their lead 30-15 after another 3 from Arntson.

Domeier captained an 8-0 run for the Knights after that, however, making two 3s and a bucket inside to put his team down 30-23.

Sacred Heart then cut their lead to 9 before Steffensmeier got the last bucket of the half into the paint to put St. Mary’s leading 36-29 at halftime.

The Knights got a layup from Steffensmeier to start the second half before the Eagles got it back on a bucket from Gapp. Wait then hit a 3 to bring the knights within 4, 38-34.

The Eagles were able to extend their lead to 12 before the Knights wreaked havoc in defence, securing a steal from Owen Weiss which led to a lay-up from Domeier and a steal and lay-up from Wait to follow 51 -43.

The Eagles bounced back after that, getting a 3 from Tomkinson to lead 58-43. They led up to 18 points before the Knights got the last basket of the game from Cole Schroepfer off the bench.

The Knights graduated four seniors from the team this spring in Domeier, Steffensmeier, Stevens and Trevor Zeig. Domeier and Steffensmeier are two of the Knights’ all-time leading scorers.

“It’s going to be a big loss with this whole senior group,” Coach Walter said. “Trent and Carson, over 3,700 points between them, so they’ll be hard to replace. Not just their production on the pitch, but their leadership. They’ve been here since day one with us and they’ve helped us figure out where we want to be.

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