On paper, Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family certainly appeared to be a solid favorite in Monday’s D1-3 District final at St. Paul.
After all, the 20-6 Bulldogs were the #3 seed in the new district format, in which the 12 sub-district winners and top four non-winners by NSAA point average were seeded and paired in eight finals, while Axtell brought just a 13-12 record as the D1-8 Sub-District winner.
However, games are played on the court, not on paper, and the Wildcats were on a late-season roll, having won four of their last five games, and six of the last eight.
Humphrey/LHF ended that roll in emphatic fashion, demolishing Axtell 63-36, and writing history in the process. The 2019 state tournament berth is the first for the Bulldogs since the athletic co-op between Humphrey and Lindsay Holy Family began six years ago.
“Any time you make it to state, I think it’s a big deal,” HLHF Coach Joe Hesse told media after the game. “We haven’t been a regular. You have some of those schools where it’s just expected every year. For us to get there, we’re going to enjoy this. This is fun.”
Monday night was certainly fun for the Bulldogs and their fans.
After Axtell took two leads early in the contest, Humphrey/LHF’s suffocating full-court pressure began to take it’s toll. The Bulldogs reeled off runs of 12-2 and 9-0 in the latter stages of the first quarter and the second, while forcing eight steals and 12 turnovers in the first half.
That dominance led to a 40-19 halftime lead, and Humphrey/LHF cruised to its initial district championship from there.
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