After suffering tough losses to top ranked DeLaSalle teams on Tuesday, Jan. 22, the boys' and girls' basketball teams at Providence Academy were looking to bounce back into the win column when they faced the Breck Mustangs on Friday, Jan. 25.
The girls were able to secure a 63-26 victory on the road to improve to 14-4 on the season, however the boys played shorthanded with several starters out of the lineup and fell 83-49 on their home court.
Girls ranked No. 1 in 2A
Senior Taylor Finley scored a game-high 17 points, while senior Leah Szabla and sophomore Makenzie Murtha added 13 points apiece in the Lions' victory over Breck.
Finley, Szabla and senior guard Nathalie Ratliff all average in double figures and give the Lions one of the most experienced trios in the entire state.
Finley and Ratliff both scored their 1,000th points earlier this season.
Finley is the school's all-time leader in 3-pointers made, Ratliff is the school's all-time leader in steals, while Szabla is in the top three on the school's career assists list.
Despite four losses on the season, the Lions are ranked No. 1 in Class 2A as they look to defend last year's state championship.
Three of the team's four losses are to large 4A schools including Hopkins, Eastview and Eden Prairie, while DeLaSalle is ranked No. 2 in 3A.
The Lions will look to build on the win over Breck when they host Visitation on Tuesday, Jan. 29 and travel to Mounds Park Academy on Friday, Feb. 1.
Boys lose third straight
Based on records, one would have thought last Friday's game between the 10-4 Lions and 9-5 Mustangs would have been competitive.
But the Lions had several key contributors on the bench in street clothes for various reasons including seniors Eric Richelsen, Jackson Canfield and Nick Bohlke and junior Ben Ratliff.
After leading 13-10 early on, the Lions went cold from the field as they missed 14 of their next 15 shots, to allow the Mustangs to build a double-digit lead.
Breck senior Tilyn Hollis and sophomore William Culliton combined for 23 points in the first half as the Mustangs took a 41-27 lead at halftime.
Senior Joe Heck tried to keep the Lions close as he scored 11 first-half points by going 4-of-8 from the field.
The second half was more of the same as the Mustangs shot 53 percent from the field in the second half, while the Lions shot just 23 percent.
Breck made 8-of-17 3-point shots in the game, while the Lions went 0-for-7 from deep.
The Lions also struggled mightily from the free throw line where they went 9-of-25.
Hollis led all scorers with 22 points on 10-of-14 from the field, while Culliton added 19 points for the Mustangs.
Heck finished with a team-high 15 points on 6-of-17 from the field, while senior center Michael Warren added 14 points and seven rebounds.
Junior forward Sean Healy added seven points and 11 rebounds, while freshman guard Matthew Richelsen chipped in with eight points and seven rebounds.
The Lions will look to snap their current three-game losing streak this week when they travel to Cristo Rey Jesuit on Tuesday, Jan. 29 before playing at West Lutheran on Thursday, Jan. 31.