Boys basketball season ends with quarterfinal loss
In Monticello’s section quarterfinal game against second-seeded St. Cloud Apollo, the Magic did a few things well enough to win. They made some threes, they rebounded well, and they forced more turnovers than they lost.
But in the end, two things did them in during a season-ending 61-39 loss. The lack of ability to finish from close range, and a physicality from St. Cloud Apollo that Monticello just didn’t match.
“They just outphysicaled us,” said Magic Coach Jason Schmidt, pointing to that as the story of the game.
Monticello shot just 7 of 32 from inside the three-point line, including 6 for 18 on shots inside the painted area.
“We had plenty of opportunities near the basket,” said Schmidt. “We just didn’t convert.”
Meanwhile, the Magic couldn’t keep Apollo out of the lane. The home team made 17 of their 26 shots inside the three-point line, good for a blazing 65 percent.
The Magic were able to hang around early in the game, thanks largely to Hayden Laimer. His two early three pointers staked the Magic to a quick 6-4 lead. Monticello continued to battle, keeping the score knotted at eight till nearly halfway through the first half. But that’s when Apollo started to pull away. A 21-7 run gave the Eagles a 29-15 advantage at the break. In the second half, Monticello wasn’t ever able to put together a consistent run to put a dent in the Eagles’ lead.
“They tried to force the tempo, and we weren’t deep enough to be able to keep running,” said Schmidt.
For the game, Laimer led the Magic with 12 points coming on 4 for 11 shooting from the three-point line. Will Bauman added 11 points, while Pat McNaughton scored five points and grabbed seven rebounds, including four on the offensive end.
Monticello ends the season with a record of 6-21.