Chasing Titles: No. 4 LCWM’s senior class leading the way

Published: Feb. 5, 2023 at 10:18 PM CST
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LAKE CRYSTAL, Minn. (KEYC) - Everything is coming together at the right time for Class 2A’s fourth-ranked Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial boys’ basketball program.

As it stands now, the Knights are 17-1 overall and averaging 75-points per game.

“We’re playing for a bigger goal, we’re playing for a bigger purpose and we have to make sure we’re playing like we want to be playing in March every single night,” said LCWM four-year head coach Logan Manksa.

It doesn’t matter if the Knights’ margin of victory is 73 or 2 — you’ll see the same brand of inspired basketball every night.

This year’s product didn’t happen overnight. LCWM’s senior class remembers all too vividly where things started four years ago.

“I think we only won 5 games my freshman year,” added Knights’ senior point guard Zack Wells. “It was my first year on varsity and we just continued to build and get better.”

The first flash of success came last year when the Knights finished the regular season 20-6 before advancing to the Section 2AA semifinals.

Although, that’s where the road ended against Maple River.

Maple River is a top-five team in the state this year and they had LCWM’s numbers until the Knights finally got their revenge on Jan. 12.

“It gave us a better mindset,” said Wells. “Once we beat them, it showed us we can beat them again right, because we beat them once last year, but then we lost like three times in a row and I think beating them this time helped our confidence.”

The Knights jumped the Eagles in the state rankings after the 42-38 win to where they are now at fourth, a long ways up from where they started the season.

“At the beginning of the season we weren’t ranked up there even though we knew we were supposed to be up there,” said LCWM senior center Gage McManemy. “We didn’t take it personal, we just did our thing and just kept play and that’s where we are now.”

LCWM’s hunt for a state title continues with a few potential make-or-break Valley Conference games this month featuring Mankato Loyola and Martin County West.