A review of the past week in Providence Academy Athletics.

Girls Basketball:

The Girls Basketball team has completed their season with a record of 20-9.

On Saturday March 2, the Lions traveled to St. Michael Albertville and played in the section quarter final against the #4 seeded Minneapolis North Polars. The Lions defense dominated the game holding the Polars to their lowest scoring output of the season at 32 points. The Lions were able to find the bottom of the net a little more often than the Polars and cashed in for 51 points. Junior Hailey Hohenecker dropped in 23 points in the victory. Senior Maggie Murphy was able to score 12 points. This would bring the Lions to the section semifinals for the first time since 2016.

On Tuesday March 5, the Lions played a rematch of their 2016 section semifinal game, as they took on the #1 seed Holy Family Fire. The Fire have had an excellent year, losing only to 3A and 4A opponents. The Fire went on a run early with a string of easy layups to get an early 12-4 advantage. However, the Lions battled back and were able to bring the lead down to 1 point, before the Fire stretched out the lead to 10 to end the half.

In the second half, the Lions were able to find better looks against the Fire’s stingy man-to-man defense and whittled the lead away. In the end, the Fire were able to convert from the free throw line and put the game out of reach for the Lions. The Lions were led in scoring by Senior Maggie Murphy who poured in 24 points, doing the majority of her work from inside the lane. Hailey Hohenecker also scored 12 points in the game.

The Lions ended their season with a 20-9 record. A big thank you goes out to the Seniors, Maggie Murphy, Caroline Mahowald, and Sydney Stewart for all their efforts over their careers. They have had an incredible impact on the program, and we are so grateful for their leadership.

Follow @PA_GirlsHoops to stay up to date with everything Providence Girls Basketball.

Click here to view replays of all home girls basketball games and to subscribe to other live streaming contests.

Complete stats may be found on the MN Girls Basketball Hub page.

Boys Basketball:

The Boys Basketball team is 16-11.

On Friday March 1, the Lions traveled to Elk River to challenge Spectrum High School on a cold, snowy night in hopes of breaking a three-game losing streak. Led by senior guard Joey Fafinski’s defense, the Lions jumped out to a 12 point lead. The host team tried to resist, but the Lions continued to apply defensive pressure and went into halftime with a 33-19 lead. The Sting made adjustments at the half and came out with a 2-3 zone, which seemed to give the Lions some issues. But Fafinski stepped up and knocked down a 3 point shot with minutes to go giving the Lions some breathing room and setting the stage for senior guard Dylan Servais to seal the deal from the free-throw line. The Lions topped the Sting 66-61. Servais led the Lions with 17 points; senior Mark Richelsen scored 15 points and 6 rebounds; and senior Logan Blomberg netted 11 points and 6 rebounds.

On Monday March 4, the Lions faced All-American junior Jalen Suggs and powerhouse Minnehaha Academy in the last IMAC Conference game. The visitors started the game looking to dominate from tip off using their athleticism and height.  The goal of the Lions was to control the tempo of the game and minimize the Redhawk possessions. The Lions fought hard, but the combination of top prep players was too much for the Lions to contain. The Lions were defeated 66-33.

On Thursday March 7, with junior reserve guard Ike Ayika singing the National Anthem, the Lions hosted a Section 5AA game versus Southwest Christian Academy. The Lions were led in the opening stanza by the 3 point shooting of Servais, senior Sam Young, and senior Evan Marsh and went into the half with a 35-28 lead. In the second half, Richelsen did the dirty work rebounding and scoring in multiple ways, and his back court mate Blomberg put the team on his back to push them through to a 16 point lead late in the second half. The Lions were led by Blomberg 23 points 8 rebounds and 2 assists, Richelsen scored 13 points and 6 rebounds, Young netted 11 points and Servais scored 10 points.

Next Up: Saturday, the Lions will travel to St. Michael Albertville to face Maranatha Christian Academy; 11:30 a.m. tip off at St. Michael Albertville Middle School West.

Boys Section 5AA brackets may be viewed here.

Click here to view replays of all home boys basketball games and to subscribe to other live streaming contests.

Follow @PA_BoysHoops to stay up to date with everything Providence Boys Basketball.

Complete stats may be found on the MN Boys Basketball Hub page.

 A Note from the Athletic Director:

Thanks so much to those of you who have reached out to me to congratulate me on my impending retirement. While I have mixed emotions about my decision, I am very excited to begin a new phase in my life.

While sharing this decision with Dr. Flanders, I intimated that I always knew that I would know when the time was right and, through a series of events this past year, it has become clear to me that God is guiding me to step down from this incredible position.

If you are like me, one of your questions may be, why is this happening or why is this happening now. The answer is really quite straightforward. I came to Providence Academy three years ago with a defined set of personal and professional goals. Personally, I wanted to finish my career as an athletic administrator at a faith based school that was filled with incredibly talented people. Professionally I wanted to work to help elevate the role of athletics at Providence Academy so that it is an integral part of an exceptional educational experience. I feel that we have accomplished these goals or have at minimum put in motion strategies to realize them.

As I contemplate my time at PA, I recognize that, in the end, I strove to build a culture where athletics are inherently educational. We know that our athletics program provides valuable lessons for practical situations – teamwork, sportsmanship, winning and losing, and hard work. And that through participation in athletics, our students have the opportunity to learn self-discipline, build self-confidence and develop skills to handle competitive situations. These are qualities our community expects Providence Academy to produce in students so that they become responsible adults and productive citizens, and oft-times these lessons are acquired outside the classroom.

I am confident that under the leadership of Daren Messmore with Sarah Melhorn, the PA Athletics Department will continue to be a community committed to excellence in all that it does. Its work will continue to be informed and guided by Providence Academy’s mission, and its success can be traced to the good and important work that Providence Academy athletes and coaches do as well as the support received from the entire PA community. I would also like to thank you for caring about, and believing in, our programs and the people who participate in them during my tenure at Providence Academy.

I’ve often said that change is difficult yet necessary, and I believe in the end change, done well, is rejuvenating and exciting. I personally look forward to this process both for me and for PA!

With my sincere regards and as always, God bless and Go Lions!

Remember to follow @PAheadmaster@PAcademyATH@PA_MSathletics@PALionsAD, and @ProvidenceLions for the most current updates regarding Providence Academy Athletics.


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