For the second year in a row, the MMCRU girls basketball team is heading to Des Moines to compete in the girls state basketball tournament. The Royals won their region final over Storm Lake St. Mary’s by a convincing 49-31 final score.
The Royals came out of the gate with the hot hand offensively. Namely, the hot shooting of Emily Dreckman was the key for the Royals big start. She scored 12 points in the first quarter on 4-5 from the field. MMCRU Head Coach Gillian Letsche says Dreckman knows how to get the team rolling offensively.
Dreckman says the key to her hot start on offense originated from the plays she and her teammates were making on defense.
Dreckman ended the game with 21 points. The Royals and Panthers matched up well in the post with MMCRU’s Ellie Hilbrands matching up with Storm Lake St. Mary’s’ Sydney Hurd. The Royals threw a wrinkle in their gameplan that saw Hilbrands make three three-point field goals and score 11 points in the win. Coach Letsche says that Hilbrands shooting from the perimeter makes the Royals much more dangerous.
Hilbrands says that her three-point shooting was a point of focus in preparing her for the matchup with Storm Lake St. Mary’s.
One thing the Royals have in abundance is love for the game. Coach Letsche says that love for the game and their drive to play well is what makes this team so successful.
The win is historic for the towns of Marcus, Meriden, Cleghorn, and Remsen. Before the consolidation between the four towns, these communities had only experienced two girls basketball state tournaments. (1986 with Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn and 1981 with Remsen Union) Now, the Royals have gone to two in a row. Coach Letsche recognizes that history her team has made is special.
The Royals now match up with the team that eliminated from the state tournament in 2021 in Exira-Elk Horn Kimballton. The Royals now have the experience of playing in a state tournament to build off for this go around. Hilbrands says that experience is so crucial.
The Royals take a 23-1 record to the state tournament. You can listen to the Royals state quarterfinal contest on KLEM on Wednesday, March 2 at 3:15 PM.
Storm Lake St. Mary’s ends their season with a 22-2 record.