Recap: Lady Magic continue ascension

“We played one of the first games of the season and ended up playing one of the last games of the season,” summed up Magic Girls Basketball Coach Craig Geyen. “It was a pretty darn good year.”
Considering he is referencing the most successful season in the history of the program, pretty good might be an understatement.
Monticello raced to a regular season record of 21-5, earned a season sweep of Buffalo, as well as a split with state-ranked St. Michael-Albertville, went on to win their second straight section championship, and then earned their first-ever state tournament win (in thrilling fashion, no less) on the way to a fourth-place finish in the Class AAA State Tournament.
The list of season highlights is long, and it is highlighted by an impressive ability to always bounce back and continually move foward.
The two prime examples could both be found at the state tournament. The first came in the state quarterfinal, when Monticello fell behind by 15 in the second half, but never stopped battling. High energy from the bench and big-time plays from nearly every girl who got minutes helped push Monticello to a historic comeback win.
That win also was a direct factor in the second example. Because for the fourth straight year, Monticello improved. In Geyen’s first year, the Magic won a few games and challenged a future state tournament team in Annandale. In his second year, they upset top-seeded Big Lake to get to the section final, falling just short of their first state tournament appearance. Last year, they earned that first-ever state tournament appearance, before getting knocked out in the first round. This year, the team took fourth place at state.
“You taste that success and you want more of it,” explained Geyen.
Next year, Monticello will look to continue to build on that success. All three teams that finished ahead of Monticello at state graduate Division I basketball players this year. The Magic lose important pieces in Bailey Bechtold and Kallie Gau to graduation, but return the rest of their varsity roster.

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