Boys Basketball Class A Semifinal: Hancock pulls away from Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s

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The Hancock Owls defeated the Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s Knights 65-53, Wednesday morning at the Target Center, to advance to the State Championship.


Hancock and Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s (20-4) traded baskets in the first half with four lead changes. Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s sophomore guard Kaleb Wait tied the score at 22 on a layup at 7:03 and the Knights went on an 11-2 run over the next five minutes. Hancock senior guard Preston Rohloff hit from behind the arc with 42 seconds left in the first half to pull the Owls within 34-29 at the break.

Both teams shot well from three-point range in the first half; Hancock went 4-of-9 (44.4 percent) and Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s hit 3-of-7 (42.9 percent).

Hancock (19-5) battled back in the second half with Rohloff tying the score at 39 on a jump shot at 14:27. The Owls built their lead steadily from there with junior center Matt Thompson adding a couple of statement dunks in the second half. His second put the Owls up 64-53 with 17 seconds left in the game.

Thompson and senior guard Kody Berget tallied 20 and 18 points, respectively, for Hancock. Berget scored all his points on 6-of-11 shooting from the three-point range. Thompson also led the Owls with 19 rebounds. Wait paced Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s with 19 points and four steals. Junior guard Trent Steffensmeier added 17 points for the Knights.

Hancock advances with the 65-53 victory to face either Hayfield or Badger/Greenbush-Middle River for the Class A title. The championship game is scheduled for Saturday, April 10 at 1 p.m.