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Mankato East’s dynamic duo leads by example

The Mankato East girls’ basketball team capped off a thrilling win over cross-town rival Mankato West earlier this week.
Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 9:48 PM CST
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — The Mankato East girls’ basketball team capped off a thrilling win over cross-town rival Mankato West earlier this week, thanks, in part, to the play of Mackenzie Schweim and Lexi Karge.

“Just making those big plays toward the end, I think really shows the talent we have on this team and what we can do in March,” senior Mackenzie Schweim said.

When it comes to East and West match-ups, there’s no shortage of excitement. The big game usually brings out the best in both squads, and that was the case earlier this week, with Mackenzie Schweim delivering on the big stage with a bucket at the buzzer to push the Cougars over the Scarlets in a close 50-49 victory.

“West is a good team, they’re going to battle back, but we wanted it as a team,” Schweim added. “We weren’t going to lose that game, I’m proud of how we executed and wanted it.”

East is 8-2 overall this season with back-to-back wins in the closing seconds. Leading the Cougars’ talented group, along with Schweim, is fellow senior Lexi Karge who excels on both ends of the floor with some stellar defensive play for East.

“It’s immeasurable around the lane. We see that from time to time as far as how people will change their shots when Lexi is around the basket to affect that. She can guard on the perimeter too, so it’s not just at the basket. That’s a game changer, rebounding, defense, it keys our whole defense, allows us to put more pressure on the perimeter that way,” head coach Rob Stevermer explained.

Both Schweim and Karge are members of the 1,000 point club, pushing each other every step along the way.

“We’ve been playing basketball since fourth grade, been best friends since then. Our relationship is very strong, it’ll be difficult next year without playing with her,” Karge said.

It’s no surprise the two are taking their talents to the next level. Schweim will suit up for Minnesota State, while Karge takes the court for Minnesota Duluth, meaning the two teammates and best friends will soon turn into friendly foes.

“Very weird, yeah. We talk about that all the time. Hopefully, she just doesn’t hate me next year,” Karge added.

The dynamic duo’s ability to lead by example is why Lexi Karge and Mackenzie Schweim are the Scheels Prep Athletes of the Week.

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