They say there is no such thing as a moral victory. The Bluejacket girls basketball team proved them wrong. While C-I went winless in two games at state, the team received a number of accolades for not backing down against long odds.
State quarterfinals vs. Hopkins
In a classic version of David vs. Goliath, the Jackets didn’t quite slay the giant known as the undefeated, defending state champion, however they made a good showing in keeping the game from getting out of hand.
The Royals did gradually build up a sizable lead in the quarterfinal game held at Williams Arena, resulting in a 30-point, 54-24 score at halftime. In the second half, with the game well at hand, the Jackets held even with the Royals for a final score of 85-55.
Individually, C-I had three players reach double-digits, with Amme Sheforgen leading the way with 13 points. Jackie Olander and Jana Swanson each added 10 points.
The loss dropped the Jackets into the consolation bracket, where they would face Park Center the next day at Concordia College.
Consolation vs. Park Center
In the two games at state, C-I had only a brief stretch of sub-par performance. Unfortunately, that approximately six-minute stretch most likely cost the team a victory and a third state tournament game.
After jumping out to a 12-6 lead early in the game against the Pirates, the Jackets’ shooting suddenly went ice cold, resulting in an 18-0 run for Park Center, giving the Pirates a 24-12 lead. The Jackets did somewhat break out of their drought, but could only shrink their deficit to 30-24 at halftime.
In the second half, C-I mounted a couple furious rallies, coming within one point twice and tying the score at 57 with 2:49 remaining. But the Jackets couldn’t quite completely get themselves out of the hole they dug for themselves, and the Pirates clinched a 70-62 win, ending C-I’s season.
Swanson was the Jackets’ leading scorer in the game, picking up 18 points and 11 rebounds for a high school career-ending double-double. Mikayla Aumer was close behind with 17 points and Sheforgen added 13.
As it turned out, it was the end of the season for both teams as the Minnesota State High School League canceled the remainder of the tournament due to the coronavirus.
The Jackets finished the season with a 20-11 record.