K-M tourney run includes win at Winona
The Kasson-Mantorville boys basketball team had turned a corner in recent weeks as they closed out the regular season in winning five of its final six games. That momentum was something that the KoMets were hoping to carry into the postseason for a cinderella run as the five-seed in Section 1AAA.
While the KoMets are no longer dancing, they still put on an impressive performance in a come-from-behind win against Winona and holding their own against top-seeded Austin.
The fun began for the KoMets on March 7 when they headed to Winona to take on the Winhawks. Things didn’t get off to the best start for K-M as Winona took advantage early and held a lead that was as big as 17 points during the first half. Down 15 at the half, the KoMets had to make some adjustments.
The modifications worked in the second half as the KoMets made their move with a balanced offensive effort. With Hunter Bzoskie being held to nine points (with two rebounds and three assists), Wesley Asprey (11 points, five rebounds, five assists), Tim Beasley (13 points, five rebounds) and Jace Bigelow (17 points, three rebounds) stepped up and got K-M within a bucket late in the game.
After a great offensive set, Bigleow knocked down the 10th three-pointer of the night for the KoMets to take their first game of the lead late. One great defensive stand later and the KoMets had scored the upset with a 75-72 victory.
The KoMets had another upset on their mind as they headed to Rochester to challenge Austin on March 10. This would be a bigger challenge for K-M going up against an Austin team that was the runner-up in Class AAA a year ago and is one of the favorites to take home the title this season.
In the first half, Austin used its athleticism to push the pace and the KoMets started struggling against the full court pressure. The Packers would open the game on a 10-2 run, but the KoMets would fight back getting it within a three point game before Austin would pull away on another run.
Even though the Packers would have control of the game, the KoMets would be pesky enough to stay within an arm’s distance before going down by a similar 15-point deficit at halftime.
This time, there would be no comeback as Austin would open the 7-2 run. Although the lead would balloon to 32 points in the second half, there were positives as Luucas Heimer would put up 18 points and seven rebounds while Bigelow chipped in with 14 points and five rebounds.
Despite the fight of the KoMets, 28 turnovers would prove to be the difference in the game as K-M saw its season come to a close with a 79-47 defeat.
Despite the sour ending to the season, the KoMets had plenty to be proud of. Their overall record sat at 13-15 (10-6 HVL) and they earned their first playoff victory since the 2014-15 season. K-M also was much better at the end of the season playing as a team and had several younger players step up for what could be a brighter future.