South Shore Represents at Border Battle!

Morgan Sorenson, Reporter & Photographer

Basketball, it turns out, is one of those activities that just continues, year round, ranging from practice, training and camps to conference play.  If the team and individual athletes are good enough, they can extend their regular season by competing in progressively more competitive arena, ranging from regionals to sectionals and even state.  South Shore’s student athletes worked extremely diligently during the regular season, both on and off the court.  Their hard work paid off.  The South Shore Lady Cardinals made it to state and the boys’ made it to the regional championship game, losing out to Washburn.  For Megan Gustafson and Blake Reijo, both seniors, their efforts were noticed and they were invited to play for Wisconsin’s All Star team.  The annual “border battle” between Wisconsin and Minnesota was played Tuesday evening at UMD’s Romano gym.

The girl’s faced off at 6:00, playing two 20 minute halves.  Wisconsin was first on the board after Gustafson – who squared off against the 6’5″ Dosharm – leaped into the air at tip-off and got her team the ball.  But Minnesota wasn’t to be denied.  They came on strong, leading Wisconsin by 6 points only four minutes into the first half.  That would be the last time they led; Wisconsin rallied and never looked back, widening their lead to well over 20 points by the end of the first 20 minutes.  Gustafson powered through some tough defense to assist her teammates in scoring big on Minnesota, contributing 10 points to Wisconsin’s game winning 94 points.

The boy’s faced off at 7:30, also playing two 20 minute halves.  Reflecting on the game last night, Reijo commented “yeah, when we saw their size, we figured we just need play some good old fashioned Wisconsin white boy basketball and shoot from the outside.”  He was referring to the 6’9″ Illikainen from Grand Rapids, MN.  That thought, however, was quickly dashed when Bjorn Broman – the nation’s leading boys’ basketball scorer – appeared on the scene.  With that line-up, Wisconsin definitely had their work cut out for them.  Reijo was a huge asset to his team, sinking 6 threes to contribute 22 total points to Wisconsin’s overall 100.  Despite being first on the board,  Wisconsin just wan’t able to answer to the  “Brooooooooooman for three!” that rang out across the gymnasium in frightening consistency.  It should be noted, however, that Wisconsin rallied late in the 2nd half.  With less than six minutes on the clock, the score was 102-77.  By the time it counted down to the last sixty seconds, the score was 105-100.  That’s a 20 plus point gain for the Big Red.  But it wasn’t enough.  Though they played commendably, Wisconsin came up short against the best Minnesota had to offer, with a final score of  110-100.

Gustafson and Rejio did South Shore proud, playing strong all season.  Good luck to each in their future endeavors!