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Athletics and Activities Update March 5th

Girls’ Middle School Basketball

Coach Mary Jo Leighton ’80, Pat Bechtold and Carrie Hoover

The MS girls finished their season in Upsala on Monday, Feb. 26. While we were hoping for our first win, the cards didn’t play out that way. We started out a little sluggish which got us down by 10 and it was too challenging to come back. Upsala was hitting all their shots and while we took plenty of very good shots – we weren’t getting the bounces!

Overall, the season was a great success. The girls improved so much. We are already talking about next year and working on skills over the summer so we can come back even stronger! We will celebrate the end of the season with the varsity girls at a time yet to be determined.

Thanks to Coach Pat Bechtold for joining forces with Coach Leighton this season. We’re also grateful for help from Carrie Hoover who volunteered to assist us most of the season! Both brought much needed skills to the floor to help the girls improve!

Girls’ Varsity Basketball

Coach Bryan Backes & Henry Smith, Jr.

The Johnnies wrapped up their season with a section 5A playoff game at Isle High School. Once again, the girls’ started strong and the first half was a back forth battle. Late in the first half the Huskies took control with 15 straight points. The Johnnies were unable to cut into the deficit in the second half and thus the 2017-18 ended.

The team has to say good-bye to senior A’ishah Smith ’18, who was the primary point guard for the past 3 seasons. A’ishah’s ability to handle the ball and lead the team will definitely be missed. The remainder of the team returns next season so the future is very bright for these Johnnies. Junior Reid Nydeen ’19, sophomore Justine Meyer ’20 and 9th grader Valeryia Woodard ’21 all have 2 full seasons of experience to lead the team through off-season work to build on the 4 victories the team achieved this season.

The team offers a very special note of appreciation to Coach Henry Smith Jr. His service over the past 3 seasons will have a lasting impact on our team and players. Thank you Coach Smith!

The girls’ will celebrate their season on Monday, March 12 and then turn their sights to a summer of shooting and skill improvement.

Boys’ Varsity Basketball

Coach Mike Moen

The Johnnies wrapped up their regular season last week with rematches against the Rush City Tigers and Upsala Cardinals.

Tuesday the Johnnies and visiting Tigers thrilled fans for both teams with a very close back and forth game that came down to a buzzer beating three point shot to put the Tigers over the top with a two point victory. The Johnnies were led by Derek Steichen ’19 and Kevin Stark-Haws ’18 with 15 and 14 points respectively.

Friday’s game saw the Johnnies start out very flat and down at the half to the Cardinals by 15 points. The beginning of the second half brought more of the same, with the Johnnies down by as much as 26 points before staging an incredible come back. Lock down defense and good shot selection helped the Johnnies to chip away at the lead and gave them a chance to try to tie the game with a last second 3 point shot. Unfortunately, the shot missed its mark and the Johnnies came up short in their final regular season game.

This Thursday the Johnnies will start their section tournament play on the road to match up with the Swanville Bulldogs at 7:00 p.m.

Knowledge Bowl

Coaches Charles Miller and Jen Daiker

The Knowledge Bowl team had a great final week of the regular season!

On Thursday, the 27 competitors not on the State Sub-regional team traveled to Tech High School to compete in the strangely named “JV Regional Tournament”.  SJP showed our depth, finishing in 1st and 2nd in both the younger (9-10th grade) and older (9-12th grade) divisions of the Class A field.

Team B (Claire Kissela ’20, Joshua-Taylor Stroeing ’20, Luc Westling ’20, Sam Mortenson ’20, and Liam Rogers ’21) took 1st in the younger division, jumping into first at the end.

Team A (Carlos Borger ’20, Miranda Curnutt ’20, Will Pittelko ’20, Sami Severnak ’20 and Henry Chen ’21) took 2nd.

In the senior division, Team 2 (Hazel Anderson-Larson ’19, Sichi Onyemeh ’19, Olivia Schleper ’19, and Cormac Smith ’19) took 1st and Team 1 (Caleb Thompson ’18, Hannah Haeg ’19, Katie John ’19, and Joel Kissela ’19) finished in 2nd. The whole team made a great showing, and our top teams flipped places regularly. In the end, we took 4 of the top 6 spots by total points, showing the future is bright for this young team!

On Saturday, the team traveled to Zimmerman to take on a field of 85 teams for the final full-squad meet of the year. There were scoring issues, technical issues, and question issues, and in the end we had our worst finishes of the season despite some great play by our teams.

JV-A (Miranda Curnutt ’20, Will Pittelko ’20, Adrienne Gefrey ’21 and Henry Chen ’21)

spent the entire meet in 1st place, winning room 1 in 3 of 4 rounds, but, because of scoring issues, finished in 2nd behind a Buffalo team that had never beaten them. It was a solid finish

for a team of youngsters that have been great all year.
The varsity was forced to compete in strange arrangements by their coach to prepare for worst-case scenarios for playoffs. They played admirably but finished outside the top 5 for the first time in a long while. Still, the teams did well enough that we have great optimism heading into playoffs.
This ends the season for all but 10 of our competitors, who move on to the sub-regional tournament in Sartell on Friday, where the top 6 teams will advance to the regional tournament.