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High School Girls Basketball: Saxony Lutheran takes third place in Holiday Classic

For the first time in eight seasons, the Saxony Lutheran girls basketball team failed to reach the annual First State Community Bank Holiday Classic Championship game.

The Crusaders (6-3) were seeded third in this year’s tournament and started out with a 63-32 win over No. 6 seed Woodland, where senior guard Emma Brune put up a game-high 26 points.

Saxony then took on No. 2 seed Jackson (6-2) in the semifinals in what was the closest game of this year’s classic with the Indians coming out on top 59-54. Brune scored 23 points in the contest, while fellow senior center Olivia Spanley produced 20 of her own.

This loss sent the Crusaders to the third-place game to take on No. 4 seed Oran (6-2) as Saxony defeated the Eagles by 13 points at 63-50. Brune led all scorers once again by producing 23 points to come away with the Holiday Classic scoring title at 72 through three games.

“I know I’m biased, but [Brune] is as good as anybody [in this tournament],” Saxony head coach Sam Sides said. “If she was a little bigger, she could play big-time basketball because her mental [aspect of the game] is way up there.”

One of the keys to Saxony defeating Oran by double digits was because of the performance by junior guard/forward Maddox Murphy, who finished with a career-high 15 points against the Eagles.

Brune and Murphy combined for five 3-pointers, while junior forward Alice Hogendobler hit two of her own for the Crusaders to record a season, team-high seven triples against Oran.

Nick McNeal covers high school sports, college sports and community events for The Cash-Book Journal. He graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in multimedia journalism and has lived in Cape Girardeau County for the past five years. He can be reached at cbjsports@socket. net.

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