By: Jared Hines
With a chance to close out the season with two more games, the Magic traveled to Concordia University-St. Paul for a matchup vs. Holy Angels. Playing in the consolation semifinal of the Class 3A State Tournament, the Magic were looking to extend their season one more day with a win over the Stars. Unfortunately for Monticello, the team came up just short, falling 71-65.
The Magic started the game on a 10-2 run, running the floor and finding the open man on the team’s open possessions. Monticello knew that Holy Angels wouldn’t go away and the Stars did anything but fall apart, quickly tying the score and opening up a lead. The Stars closed the first half outscoring the Magic 35-21. Austin Wetter and Tommy Blackstone each led the way for Monticello with 10 points.
It was the Magic’s turn to go on a run to open up the second half. Monticello went on a 15-6 run to open the half and tie the game at 43 with 12:35 left to play. Gus Hangsleben finished a fastbreak with a lay-up and the foul and three possessions later Hangsleben got a player control foul called against the Stars to swing the momentum even more in the Magic’s favor. After a couple more defensive stops, Wetter’s offensive rebound led to a Blackstone floater to give the Magic a 50-47 lead with 8:13 left to play.
Out of the timeout, the Stars scored to put it back within one but didn’t get back on defense, leading to an easy Wetter pass to Carson Sawatzke for a layup. With 5:45 left to play the Stars took a 53-52 lead on a basket and then stole the inbounds pass for another layup. Coach Jason Schmidt called a timeout to calm the team down and out of the timeout Shawn Sellner was fouled, making one of his two free throws the bring the Magic within two. Wetter made one more free throw with 4:12 to play and Austin Puppe hit a huge 3-point basket with 3:30 left to keep the game within a single possession. After a Holy Angels basket with a missed free throw, Blackstone made yet another floater to force a Holy Angels timeout with the Stars leading 60-59 with 2:43 left to play. The Stars took another timeout 59 seconds later with the same score as the Magic defense was pressuring Holy Angels.
Out of the timeout, Holy Angels forced a foul and made both free throws, extending the team’s lead to three with 1:39 left to play. A Magic turnover led to a Holy Angels layup and after a couple of offensive chances, the Magic came up empty and were forced to foul. The Stars made their free throws down the stretch, closing out the game and ending the season for the Magic.
Eight Monticello seniors will graduate in the Spring. We want to thank them for their dedication to the boys’ basketball program over the years. Ty Ulven, Austin Puppe, Tommy Blackstone, Shawn Sellner, Blake Thompson, Garrett Holmes, Carson Sawatzke, and DJ Ward are the 2018-19 seniors for Monticello. The Magic finish the season 14-17.