Michael Kirchner heads back downcourt after hitting one of his six three-point shots in St. Thomas Academy's 72-58 victory over Mahtomedi. Photo by Mark Hvidsten, SportsEngine
Michael Kirchner started his Tuesday looking forward to the opportunity to show anyone who doubted him that his St. Thomas Academy basketball team is the best team in the Metro East Conference.
And there likely were plenty of doubters.
After all, Mahtomedi sat alone and unbeaten at the top of the conference standings. The Zephyrs had won 12 consecutive games and owned the No. 4 spot in the latest Class 3A rankings by Minnesota Basketball News.
But Kirchner was solid in his belief. And, after he helped his team to a convincing 72-58 victory over the Zephyrs, he likely made a few believers out of the many doubters.
Mahtomedi guard Will Underwood (25) shoots over St. Thomas Academy defender Luke Dobbs. Underwood scored 22 points in the Zephyrs' loss. Photo by Mark Hvidsten, SportsEngine
Michael Kirchner scored 19 of his game-high 28 points in the second half as St. Thomas Academy avenged a 28-point loss Jan. 10 at Mahtomedi with a 72-58 victory on Tuesday night.
Jake Dobbs added 15 of his 20 points in a second half in which the Cadets (14-5, 9-1) outscored the Zephyrs, fourth in the latest Class 3A rankings by Minnesota Basketball News, 45-27. The victory also put the Cadets in position to challenge Mahtomedi (15-3, 10-1) for the Metro East championship.
Will Underwood led the Zephyrs, whose 12-game win streak came to an end, with 22 points. Owen Carlson scored 19 and Cole Armitage 10 for Mahtomedi.
Mahtomedi beat St. Thomas Academy 69-41 on its home floor on Jan. 10 while holding Kirchner to 12 points. The victory left the Cadets at 5-5.
St. Thomas since has won its past nine games.
Luke Dobbs tried to escape the pressure defense of Mahtomedi's Owen Carlson in the second half. Dobbs scored 15 of his 20 points in the second half. Photo by Mark Hvidsten, SportsEngine