The Red Knights of Benilde-St. Margaret's are 2-1 so far this young season and already they've shown glimpses of what their massive potential is capable of as well as what can happen if they don't come together. Through three games this season junior wing Will Dunn leads the Red Knights in scoring at 13.0 points a contest.
The Red Knight season opened with a blitz of Rosemount that saw BSM jump out to a 26-2 lead in one of the most ferocious runs of the early season. Every weapon the Red Knights had seemed to click as Dunn scored on jumpers, Isaiah Zierden hit from inside and out, Kyle Washington banged on the rim for buckets, Sanjay Lumpkin found his way to the rim for points, and the athletic defense of Danon Briggs, Isaiah Gray, and Zierden forced Irish turnovers.
They won the game 66-51 and it really wasn't even that close. Washington scored a career high 16 points highlighted by several aggressive inside finishes, Dunn scored 13 points, and Lumpkin totaled ten.
A week later the Red Knights were back in action against the Academy of Holy Angels led by veteran coach Larry McKenzie. Coach McKenzie went with the patient strategy of holding the basketball at times and it helped them stay close although the Red Knights were victorious 51-40.
Minnesota Preps caught up with Red Knight Coach John Moore after their win over the Stars.
"I was not pleased with our defensive effort," said coach Moore. "Holy Angels made us play defense for long stretches and I felt we did not rise to the challenge. Having said that, we maintained our poise and pulled out a tough win.
"We switched defenses several times, but it wasn't until midway through the 2nd half that we were able to put together a 10 point spurt to separate us from Holy Angels. In that spurt we got on the floor for several loose balls and that helped turn the tide."
Benilde-St. Margaret's was led by the 14 points from Zierden and 12 from Dunn defeating the Stars.
"Isaiah Gray came off the bench along with Danon Briggs and brought a lot of energy and defensive intensity," said Moore after their second win. "Isaiah Zierden and Sanjay Lumpkin knocked down the free throws to seal the victory. Will Dunn's aggressive takes to the basket resulted into ten 2nd half points."
Saturday the Red Knights traveled a few miles over to Hopkins for one of the early season meetings that many Twin Cities basketball fans had marked on their calendars months ago.
The game wasn't that close. The Red Knights were even for about six minutes but a tied game was separated by athletic plays from Joe Coleman and Marvin Singleton building a 22-15 lead. This was the start of a 17-4 Hopkins run that turned a close game into a constant claw back for the Red Knights.
Benilde-St. Margaret's was able to get within ten in the second half but they couldn't get over the double figure hump the rest of the way.
Hopkins was led the 22 points from Singleton, 18 from junior Demetrius Martin, and the 17 from Coleman. Zierden scored 16 for his team while Washington and Dunn each had a baker's dozen (13).
The Red Knights are back on the hardwood tomorrow night against Minnetonka who is winless in four tries. The Skippers have faced four opponents who have a combined record of 13-1 and now take on the Red Knights in a west metro battle.