The Faribault Bethlehem Academy Cardinals the last couple weeks of the season had one problem.  Winning close games.  They fell to state ranked Hayfield and Waterville-Elysian-Morristown by a combined total of 3 points before receiving the #9 seed in the Section 1A boys basketball tournament and heading to #8 seed Houston.

The Cardinals fell 55-54 in what Head Coach Melissa Hager called, "A heartbreaker."  The first year Head Coach for Bethlehem Academy said she enjoyed her time coaching the boys and was, "sad to see this season come to an end." Coach Hager added, "I am not ready to be done with this great group of young men.  They are not only basketball players but also great role models.  I am so very proud of them and so thankful for the opportunity to coach them."

The Cardinals had a 30-19 lead at the half but saw the Hurricanes erupt for 36 second half points.  Damon Trump finished his Bethlehem Academy basketball career with 17 points, 4 rebounds and 5 assists.  Senior Jack Clark had 8 points, 3 rebounds and 4 assists.  Freshman Brady Strodtman finished with 9 points and sophomore JJ Malecha had 9 points and 12 rebounds.

Houston held the edge on the glass 32-28.  The Hurricanes had one more three point basket which proved to be the difference in the game.  8 three point baskets on 25 attempts for Houston and 7 three point baskets on 12 attempts for Bethlehem Academy.  Each team scored 5 points at the free throw line.

The Cardinals finish their season with a 11-14 record.  Houston advances to play top seed Spring Grove Tuesday night at 6:00 p.m. in the Rochester Mayo Civic Center Auditorium.  The Hurricanes are 13-14.  The Lions of Spring Grove sport a 20-4 record.

In other Section 1 Class A Thursday games:

  • #4 seed Hayfield coasts to a 73-55 win over Lyle/Pacelli
  • #2 seed Randolph advances with a 71-58 victory over Lanesboro
  • #3 seed Rushford-Peterson (the defending section champs) defeat Southland 66-52
  • #6 seed Grand Meadow beats Leroy-Ostrander 70-58
  • #7 seed Kingsland were 55-48 victors over Schaeffer Academy
  • #5 seed Blooming Prairie ended Goodhue's season 69-53

Those results mean Monday night at 6:00 p.m. in the Mayo Civic Auditorium Randolph will play Kingsland.  At 7:30 p.m. Rushford-Peterson tangles with Grand Meadow.

Tuesday night at 6:00 p.m. Houston faces Spring Grove and at 7:30 p.m. Blooming Prairie is scheduled to play Hayfield.

The semifinals are scheduled for Saturday, March 9 at 4:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. at the Mayo Civic Auditorium.

Section 1AA competition Thursday ended with these results.

  • #9 seed Zumbrota-Mazeppa over #8 seed Cannon Falls 70-58.  Cougars play top seed Lake City Tuesday night at 6:00 p.m. in the Mayo Civic Arena.  Lake City rolled past Cotter 65-31.
  • #4 seed LaCrescent-Hokah  defeated #13 Chatfield 71-63.  Lancers play #5 seed Rochester Lourdes 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.  Eagles flew past #12 Lewiston-Altura 79-52.
  • #2 seed and defending Section Champion Caledonia ran away from #15 Triton  80-37.  The Warriors play 6:00 p.m. Monday in the Mayo Civic Arena against #7 Dover-Eyota.  The Eagles bested #10 seed Plainview-Elgin-Millville 78-57.
  • #3 seed Stewartville rolled over #14 Byron 67-47.  The Tigers will face the St. Charles Saints at 7:30 p.m. Monday in the Mayo Civic Arena.  #6 seed St. Charles ended Pine Island's season 68-59.