Skip To Main Content

Red Knights Capture Back-to-Back State Titles

Red Knights Capture Back-to-Back State Titles
  • All School
  • Announcements
  • Athletics

The BSM girls’ basketball team won the 2024 Class AAA State Championship on Saturday, Mar. 16, 2023, defeating the DeLaSalle Islanders 81 – 58 at Williams Arena on the University of Minnesota campus. The championship is the girls’ second in two years, and fourth overall (2024, 2023, 2010, and 2006). The championship is also BSM’s 49th team state title in school history.

The Red Knights finished as Section 6AAA Champions with a regular season record of 27-5. In a battle between two of the Twin Cities’ Catholic schools, the Red Knights started the game strong, scoring off the opening tipoff when Olivia Olson ‘24 was fouled. The McDonald’s All-American and 2024 Gatorade Player of the Year in Minnesota scored a free throw after being fouled. The BSM girls took an 11-7 lead early in the first half, exchanging baskets with DeLaSalle in a fast paced first half.

“Winning the state championship was the result of many contributions within our program,” said coach Tim Ellefson who felt the team exhibited a high level of self-sacrifice, dedication, relentlessness, and teamwork over the last months of the season, built through the leadership of the team captains. “We started two years ago with the motto of building a legacy. We believe we have set the foundation for our program to build on these past two years to be something the BSM will be proud of.”

BSM capitalized on DeLaSalle turnovers throughout the game, especially in the first half moving away from the Islanders with an eight point lead. DeLaSalle eventually trimmed it to five by halftime. 

For Olson, the win capped a high school career of three state titles, two in basketball and one in soccer. “Tonight was so much fun and an exciting way to end our season,” Olson said, “I’m proud of our team and the people who weren’t on last year’s team got to experience this together today.” Olson led all players in scoring through the first half, with 21 points.

“Olivia Olson, our lone senior, epitomizes all of the characteristics we try to live by in the girls basketball program at BSM,” Ellefson said, adding, “She is always trying to find more ways to help her team by first taking care of what she needs to do to improve, and then by helping the team play better. Olivia is one of the best players in Minnesota history and will forever be remembered here at BSM.”

The Red Knights opened the second half by scoring a pair of shots which were quickly answered by DeLaSalle. Yet the trio of Watkins, Friedly, and Olson led the Red Knights in scoring, controlling the tempo of the game. By the midpoint of the second half, the Red Knights broke the game open with a 17-point lead scoring fifteen unanswered points.

They never looked back. The Red Knights played their up-tempo game with a stifling defense against DeLaSalle, earning their second state title in two years. The win also caps a 24-game winning streak to finish the season.

At the conclusion of the game, Zahara Bishop ‘25, Kate Kapsner ‘25, Olivia Olson ’24, and Pressley Watkins ‘27, were named to the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) All-Tournament Team.

Coach Ellefson noted the BSM basketball program consists of more than just the varsity players. “We had B and JV players step up and work tirelessly in practice to make the team better every day, some of whom which couldn't even dress for our games.” Ellefson appreciates the self-sacrifice and dedication of players and their families and the difference it made this season. “We multiple players work with tirelessly with our trainers on injury recovery to come back and be ready to contribute, and the team came together in mission and focus, knowing that as one unit we were better than the parts."

In the 2024 MSHSL Girls Basketball State Tournament, the Red Knights defeated Minneapolis Roosevelt in the Quarterfinals game, and then beat Stewartville in the Semifinals game. In the 2023 State Tournament, the Red Knights defeated DeLaSalle in the quarterfinal round before capturing the State Title. 

The Benilde-St. Margaret’s community is BSM proud of our student athletes on this latest girls’ basketball championship. Congratulations Red Knights

Benilde-St. Margaret’s athletics program features more than 40 different sports for students in grades 7-12 to participate in during the fall, winter, and spring seasons. BSM also has 35 co-curricular activities throughout the school year for students in all grades.

Photo Gallery


About Benilde-St. Margaret's School
Benilde-St. Margaret's (BSM) is a Catholic, co-educational private prep school for grades 7–12 located in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, that draws its over one thousand students from throughout the Twin Cities Metro Area. It is located in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis.

The mission of BSM is to educate, empower, and inspire learners within a Catholic community to lead lives of faith, achieve academic excellence, and contribute meaningfully to a global society.

Please contact the BSM Marketing and Communications team

BSM Office of  Communications

David Lucs, Director
(Media, News Releases) 

Ife Adebola, Specialist
(Social Media, Knightly News, Photography/Video) 

Top BSM Stories

Follow BSM!

Stay informed about our Red Knights: