Loyola ready for long-awaited trip to state

Mankato Loyola prepares for the state tournament.
Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 9:18 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) -The Mankato Loyola boys basketball team is one day away from taking the court for this year’s Class A boys basketball state tournament.

”We knew we wanted it bad, and we got it. That’s all that matters right now.”

It’s been a long time coming for the Crusaders to qualify for state. They’ve shown the qualities of a state tournament team over the past few years, but the always competitive Section 2A tournament is a tough task for any group.

But now, for the first time since 2004, Loyola is back in the tourney thanks in part to the play of a strong senior class.

“I was lucky enough to be here at the right time. I got to coach these guys in seventh grade on up. It has nothing to do with me, our other coaches. It’s all about those guys. They put in the work, they battle through adversity. We’ve had a lot not go our way.”

The Crusaders are battled tested, and they’ll lean on all that experience when taking on third seeded Spring Grove.

“We just know that no matter what teams try to do to us, we have to be ourselves. Work as a team, the defense is a big part of it. That’s what it comes down to. If another team beats us, that’s okay, but we can’t let ourselves lose.”

Part of the winning formula includes a consistent two halves that starts immediately.

“We just need to bring out our energy in the first half, we were a little skiddish in the first half, we need to come out and be ready to compete.”

Spring Grove currently only has one loss on the season, that coming to Dawson-Boyd back in December.

All the action between the Crusaders and Spring Grove begins Wednesday at five in the evening at Williams Arena.

We’ll have highlights from the action right here on KEYC News Now.