By RYAN SCHLEICHER – Sun FOCUS Newspapers
Last week Tuesday night, Totino-Grace boys basketball paid tribute to the parents when they held Parents Night to commemorate all of the parents and the sacrifices they make for their children’s high school basketball careers.
A different energy was in the gymnasium as die-hard parents combined with others who took time out of their busy schedules to take part in the event. Totino-Grace hosted undefeated St. Francis in what was St. Francis hardest challenged to date — given the circumstances. Totino-Grace came out having a hard time scoring the basketball as they were held to just 20-first half points and faced a 10-point deficit to open up the second half.
In the second half, that is where things got interesting as the Eagles came out on a scoring frenzy as Collin Fleming led the charge with his game high 21 points. The crowd was energized, parents getting excited as Totino made bucket-after-bucket, seemingly looking like a team who was destined to provide the biggest upset of the year.
St. Francis Coach Ryan Hauge provided the words of inspiration needed as he was able to settle his team down. A chaotic last few seconds as Totino-Grace looked to find a big bucket that would send the game to ignite the gym and send the game to overtime prevented Totino-Grace from getting a good scoring opportunity and as a result, the Eagles run came up just short as they fell to Saint Francis, 61-59.
A game that looked as though it could easily be a blowout at halftime provided some of the most exciting basketball for fans of both teams this season. Totino-Grace may only have a record of 0-4 in conference and a 2-9 overall record, on this night, the real winners were the parents. The Eagles next travel to Chisago Lakes High School for a game at 7:15 p.m. this Friday.
Contact Ryan Schleicher at [email protected]