Seifert for 3 from the left corner, Seifert jumper on the baseline, Seifert jumper on the baseline, Seifert for 3 from the right corner, Seifert jumper from straight away, Seifert baseline drive and lay-in.
That’s how Tuesday night’s Valley Conference boys’ basketball game between Martin County West and Mankato Loyola started for the Crusaders. Senior guard Carson Seifert scored Loyola’s first 14 points while making his first six shots from the floor.
He went on to score 20 in the first half and then added 22 more in the second as his 42 points helped propel Loyola to a 61-53 win over the Mavericks at Fitzgerald Gym.
“Coach told me I’ve got to show up tonight, and I did,” Seifert said. “I shot just about the same in pregame warmups. I just shot better in the game than I normally do.”
Seifert’s early onslaught didn’t give Loyola the lead though, as Martin County West was hitting its shots as well. Mavericks forward Cordell Weber tried to make it a 1-on-1 battle with Seifert as he drained three straight 3s right after Seifert’s barrage to give MCW a 23-19 lead. Alex Biehn then hit a 3 of his own to give the Mavericks a 7-point lead.
Loyola, though, closed out the half on an 11-2 run started by Reilly Knutson. He got a nice feed from Lance Gasper for a lay-in and then followed it up with a 3 from the corner. Seifert hit a pair of shots along with one from Mark Korteum as Loyola went up 30-28 at the half.
“Our coach preaches good shots and we took good shots tonight,” Seifert said. “That’s why we won.”
The second half for Loyola started almost the same was the first did, with Seifert on fire. He hit a jumper, connected on a 3 from the left wing and then drove in for another two as the Crusaders extended their halftime lead to seven.
“Carson’s our best player; he’s our best shooter,” Loyola coach Tim Anderson said. “He got going early which gave him a lot of confidence.
“He didn’t only shoot the ball well, he took the ball to the basket, he rebounded well, and he had some blocked shots.”
To maintain the lead, Loyola went to a four-corner offense that utilized their team speed. Big lanes developed that Seifert took drove through as he added to his point total with easy lay-ins.
“We have quickness,” Anderson said. “If we can run that, our four-corner, we look to score off it. Once they chase us, we know that we’re quicker than they are. We were able to get to the rim quite a bit on that.”
Weber led Martin County West with 16 points, with Biehn adding 13.
Loyola (7-6, 4-1 in Valley) next plays Thursday at Minnesota Valley Lutheran.