Courageous is perhaps the best word to describe the Mahtomedi girls’ basketball team.
Down 14 points in the second half against Hastings, with Raiders star forward Mallory Brake picking apart Mahtomedi’s defense with 35 points scored, it would have been easy for the Zephyrs to look at the obstacle in front of them and fall apart. That, however, is not in Mahtomedi’s DNA.
Mahtomedi (13-3, 4-2) fought back from the deficit and outworked a Raiders (6-11, 2-3) team that had a clear size advantage, allowing the Zephyrs to triumph over the Raiders with a 69-68 Metro East Conference victory at Mahtomedi High School on Friday night.
Julia Salmen, a senior guard who scored 16 points against the Raiders, is the best example of a Mahtomedi player who embodies courage as she’s bounced back from two anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears to have a productive season.
She first tore her right ACL, then followed that by tearing her left a year after her first injury. One ACL tear is a big enough hurdle to overcome and two would break the spirit of many young athletes. But Salmen overcame them both.
Mahtomedi survived an intense sequence late to defeat Hastings 69-68 in a Metro East Conference matchup Friday night at Mahtomedi High School.
The game came down to the wire with multiple lead changes after Mahtomedi (13-3,4-2) fought back from a 14-point deficit early in the second half. Clutch shots made by multiple Zephyrs late pushed them to the win, including a three-pointer from Julia Salmen with about a minute left on the clock.
Both sides struggled offensively to start the contest. When Hastings (6-11, 2-3) started to find its rhythm it was behind the efforts of Mallory Brake. The senior captain scored 17 of her 35 points in the first half. Lilly Nuytten added 18 points for the Raiders.
Mahtomedi’s scoring was spread across its roster. The Zephyrs were led by Salmen, who recorded 16 points — eight in each half. Ella Hronski finished with 13 points, and teammates Zoie Centers, Zoey Washington and Anna Raney scored nine points apiece for Mahtomedi, which has won three consecutive games.
The MN Girls' Basketball Hub poll is for entertainment purposes only.