Finally, Sauk Centre gets its state title
In its eight state tournament appearance, and fourth championship game, Sauk Centre finally got over the hump.
The top-seeded Mainstreeters completed a perfect 33-0 season with a 63-52 victory over third-seeded Roseau on Saturday to win the Class 2A girls basketball state title, completing what Frazee high school alum and Sauk Centre head coach Scott Bergman called a building process to reach the top of the mountain.
“I guess we’re slow learners (since) it took us eight trips to win it, but it feels good,” Bergman joked. “We know of teams that have gotten here one time and won it that one year, and it took us a bunch of times. But we’ve said often that it’s really difficult to get to this tournament, and once you’re here it’s 10 times tougher to win it. I felt like the other times that we got second we probably got beat by a better team, and I think this team proved that, in our class this year, we’re the best team.”
That’s a mind-set the Mainstreeters carried for much of the season after falling just short last year, losing to this same Roseau team in the title game. But what you think and what you do don’t always align.
“The whole time we’re playing we were thinking we have to earn and show that we’re the best and just keep playing,” senior guard Kelsey Peschel said.
They did that all season, according to Bergman, and Saturday was no exception. The Mainstreeters jumped out to a 12-point halftime advantage and led by 21 with less than 12 minutes to play. But Bergman knew Roseau was capable of rallying.
The Rams trailed by 14 with less than 14 minutes to play in their quarterfinal win over Tracy-Milroy-Balaton, and trailed by eight with 11 minutes to play in their semifinal win over Maranatha Christian Academy.
And sure enough, Roseau mounted a comeback Saturday. A 3-pointer from Emma Waling cut the Sauk Centre lead to three with two minutes left, but that’s as close as Roseau (26-6) could get.
“We obviously didn’t get come out with the energy we needed to be competing with them the whole game,” Roseau coach Kelsey Didrikson said. “Proud of our girls for the fight they put up in the second half. A lot of little things that we’re going to be kicking ourselves about for a while.”
Tori Peschel and Kelsey Peschel paced Sauk Centre with 18 points apiece.