SLEEPY EYE, Minn. (KEYC) - The state basketball tournament is finally here and Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s is sending both boys and girls programs to the tourney.
“It’s pretty cool that we get to go with the girls. We won the conference together, to go to the state tournament was the next step. That’s pretty cool. It shows their hard work and our hard work. I just wish a lot more people could come to the games and watch,” said Carson Domeier, St. Mary’s junior.
For the Knights boys, the program turned around in a hurry thanks to a dedicated class of seniors that didn’t win a game as freshmen. Fast forward to 2021, and St. Mary’s is 19-3 with a chance to win a state title.
“It’s awesome, I knew when we were younger in the back of my head we’d do something awesome when we were older. For me, Braden, Kyle to be part of an 0-26 season and now go to a state tournament as seniors, it puts the cherry on top for us,” said St. Mary’s senior, Jacob Lux.
“They’ve included everybody. Those three have stepped up as leaders, they’ve done their job as leaders whether it’s vocal or being the quiet unspoken leaders,” said Judd Walter, SESM head coach.
The Knights are a dangerous team heading into state after capturing the Section 2A title which is one of the tougher tournaments in Minnesota each year.
“Every single game has been a battle. We had to prepare our best, bring our best Section 2A along with the Tomahawk Conference which was a battle every night. It definitely helped us get ready for this postseason,” said Walter.
The focus now is on a state quarterfinals contest against Central Minnesota Christian, a team that’s 18-4 coming into the tournament.
“I think we just have to take it one game at a time and just execute our game plans for the team we’re going to play. Everyone is there for a reason at state. You’ll have to be on your A game if you want to move on. We’ll have to bring the energy every game,” said Domeier.
St. Mary’s battles Central Minnesota Christian Wednesday night at Mankato East with the tip-off set for 7:30.