Trials of an Only One: March Madness binge weekend

Only-One

First day, two basketball games

Texas-Tyler with 10 players, Assistant Coach Chynna Turner and a student manager, was the only squad out of the four — George Fox, Wartburg and host St. Thomas, that played March 11 at the St. Paul campus with Black players on the roster. The teams were in town for the NCAA Division III Sweet 16.

D’Onna Matthews hit a fall away jumper with two seconds left for the tie and sent Texas-Tyler, the opening game, into an extra period. Teammate Michelle Obach later hit a jumper to give her squad its final lead in an 81-77 victory over George Fox.

“D’Onna came in with an attack mentality,” said Coach Kendra Hassell after the game of Matthews, a 5-10 junior forward who led Texas-Tyler with 23 points and 12 rebounds.  The team’s season ended, however, at 30-2 the following night when they lost to Wartburg, who defeated St. Thomas 70-66 in the second game of the evening.  Wartburg advanced to the Division III Final Four taking place March 19.

Second day — one hockey game

Princeton scored the game’s first goal at 29 seconds into it, and the last with three seconds left. Meanwhile Minnesota displayed their superiority with a hat trick and a shorthanded goal in the Gophers’ 6-2 win last Saturday to advance to its 12th Frozen Four and fifth consecutive appearance on Friday, March 18.

“We were really hungry,” noted senior Amanda Kessel, whose third goal capped her hat trick and her team’s scoring afterwards.

Minnesota Coach Brad Frost later told the MSR, “Anytime you are among the last four teams standing, it’s a great honor. It’s an opportunity to play for the national championship. It’s hard to win one if you don’t make the Frozen Four.”

Epilogue  

We rested the third day. In a few days, we will again embark on our third sports weekend binge of this March Madness season.

 

Charles Hallman welcomes reader responses to challman@spokesman-recorder.com.