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.