School basketball: St. Scholastica males look to go away UMAC in type

While this hit the Saints like a technical foul, Nick Carlson and Co. said the Saints had no choice but to recover.

“That was pretty disappointing to hear just because we had such high expectations, but we still have something to play,” said Carlson, a 6-foot-4 junior guard from Canyon. “We’re still playing for a conference championship. Our boys understand we won’t make it to the national tournament, but what can you do, you know? “

And at this point in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic – and I hate to say it – athletes and fans are almost used to it, hardened by cycles of inflated optimism followed by deep disappointment.

“No kidding,” said Carlson. “Everyone’s going through it.”

While this week’s UMAC basketball tournaments don’t feature automatic bids for the NCAA Division III tournament as usual, they do offer the opportunity to win a UMAC championship trophy, let alone boastful rights. This is especially important for the Saints as they attend the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference next season.

“It’s our final year in UMAC so we want to go out with a bang,” said Carlson.

The top seed Saints (8: 0), who got off to their best start in the history of the program, will open the quarter-finals of the tournament against Northland (0: 7) in the Reif Gym on Thursday at 7 p.m.

“These guys are on a mission,” said CSS trainer David Staniger. “OK, it’s our last year in the league. Let’s win the league, let’s win the tournament. It’s our last dance. Let’s count it and become champions. “

From the Northland talent standpoint, the Saints are an easy-to-root team. It’s a bit of a who’s who of the recent News Tribune all-area teams.

CSS only finished one senior from last season in offensive spark plug Collin Anderson – who led the team at 15.4 ppg despite his drop off the bench – so the Saints were expecting big things.

“I would say we’re living up to expectations,” said Carlson.

Jack Silgen, a former Crosby Ironton star, played in high school point guard but is number 5 Saints. That’s how versatile he is. He leads the team with 16.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game, followed by Carlson (15.4 ppg, 5.4 rpg) and Quinn Fischer von Esko (12.0 ppg, 6.6 rpg).

“I’m really happy for the boys,” said Staniger. “You handled it much better than I did. If the first thing on your exercise schedule is, “Were they all tested today?” It’s a ton of things other than basketball and these guys have been great all year round.

“They have a serenity, they keep their demeanor. If things get a little mixed up, don’t panic in the crowd. These guys love to compete and that’s what I love about this team. “

Jarod Wilken (8.8 ppg, 4.6 rpg), the team’s only senior, follows next, followed by Isiah Hendrickson (8.6 ppg, 2.9 rpg) and Noah Winesett (5.8 ppg, 1, 8 rpg) by Duluth East and the former Hermantown Hawk Connor Bich (5.3 ppg) 3.0 rpg).

“It’s nice to do it with these locals, and that’s important to me – to thrive and win with local talent,” said Staniger, a graduate of Chisholm High School. “There are a lot of schools out there, especially in the Twin Cities, that don’t believe that basketball is very good in northern Minnesota, but we believe we are and we prove it. We are very versatile and can score on all levels. I think we are a tough watcher. “

Carlson’s shooting numbers this year are enough to impress everyone, no matter where they’re from. He shoots 55.6% from the field and 48.5% from the 3-point range (16 of 33).

While Carlson may put up the big college numbers, his high school basketball résumé doesn’t quite match that of his teammates.

Nett Lake’s second point guard, Cade Goggleye, who has 28 assists for just six turnovers this season, was the News Tribune’s 2018-19 All-Area Player of the Year. Fischer received the same award for 2017-18.

You don’t have to remind Carlson of that. He remembers all too well his days as a great four-athlete at South Ridge High School.

Carlson called Goggleye “the most selfless gamer I’ve ever played with,” but that doesn’t mean the North Woods product can’t make it shine as Goggleye reminds him from time to time.

“I played him in high school,” Carlson said before laughing, “and I hate to say it, but he lost 62 points on us.” Granted, we weren’t very good, but Cade is perfectly fine with just giving assists and not getting much. He’s just a good team player.

“And when we were in the Polar League we always played against Esko, and I can say I wasn’t a huge fan of Esko boys in high school – they always kicked our asses. But Quinn is a great guy. It’s great to play with people you played against in high school. You come together as a team and it’s really fun. “

Carlson was asked to describe this year’s saints in one word and he said “competitive” but soon added the words “deep” and “selfless”.

If things go well this week he could add the word champions soon.

“There is definitely no guarantee, but we all feel we are the best team at the conference,” said Carlson. “Now we have to go out and show it.”

The three remaining Twin Ports UMAC basketball teams are all very young and have dealt with growing pain this year.
Wisconsin Superior (3-3) fifth seed begins Thursday at 5:00 p.m. in the men’s quarterfinals in Mankato, Minnesota, with Bethany Lutheran (5-3) fourth seed.
The Yellowjackets have no seniors and only three juniors. UWS had difficulty starting games due to COVID-19 protocols but has been playing well lately. The Yellowjackets fell between 69 and 62 against Northwestern on Monday, but would have earned number 2 with a win. Superior Products Mason Ackley, Joe Barker, and Xavier Patterson all contribute, while Eli Vogel has been really good in the last three games. The newcomers J’Vaun Walker and Souleyman Gueye provided a boost.

The seventh St. Scholastica (0-8) will open on Thursday at 5 p.m. in the women’s quarter-finals in the second-occupied Northwest (13-4).

The Saints are very young and have dealt with injuries and COVID-related hurdles this year, with players signing out.

Littlefork Senior Guard Kaylee Kennedy is 18 points out of 1,000 for career and leads the team with 11.2 ppg. Another senior, Morgan Anderson, struggled with injuries to lead the team on ricochet with 6.2 RPG and is runner-up with 9.3 ppg. Proctor’s freshman Liz Fraze has played well in the post and has an exciting future with the Saints.

The fifth Wisconsin Superior (4-5) opens Thursday at 7 p.m. in the women’s quarterfinals in the fourth Minnesota Morris (5-3).

The Yellowjackets only have one senior and two juniors. Sophomore Kaija Davies missed most of last year with an injury, but provided consistent repercussions. She had 21 points and 11 rebounds in a 59-49 win over St. Scholastica on Monday.

Sophomore Kaelyn Christian was another reliable threat, especially from the outside. Superior by birth Ellie Leadstrom is the only senior citizen and has started every game.