ST. PAUL — Last season ended in the state quarterfinals for the Mankato Loyola girls basketball team, and this season, the Crusaders made another step, playing all three games.
Even though the state experience ended up being one victory and two losses, there was as much hope as there was disappointment Saturday.
“We know we can do anything we put our minds to,” freshman guard Lindsey Theuninck said. “No one expected us to beat the No. 2 seed (Maranatha Academy in the quarterfinals), and getting to play three games and play in the third-place game at state is amazing. Our community and our school is proud of us, and we’re going to keep getting better.”
An 11-0 run early in the second half allowed Goodhue to defeat Loyola 74-62 and win the third-place game of the Class A girls basketball tournament at Concordia-St. Paul on Saturday morning. As was the case in Friday’s one-point semifinal loss to Win-E-Mac, the Crusaders played most of the game from behind.
“You’re constantly trying to climb out, and that makes it difficult,” coach Rick Theuninck said. “You can’t do what you want to do. But you have to give credit to the other teams. There are a lot of talented teams up here.”
Goodhue (27-6) got out quick, beating the Crusaders down the court for seven early points, but Megan Schroeder’s three-point play started a 7-0 run to tie the game at the 15-minute mark.
“We all knew this was going to be the last game for the seniors, and we were really emotional at the beginning,” Lindsey Theuninck said. “We really wanted to do this for the seniors. To not do it was disappointing, but we’re the fourth-best team in Class A. I’m so proud of this team.”