Two 1AA QUARTERS
The first ranked team fell on Monday. It was a night of revenge and a night where wearing white was in fashion. Tigers lost and Tigers won. The finality of sections makes for interesting drama. Nothing is secure until the end of the game. Section 1AA has a history of stunning top seeds. The script was followed last night with #7 seed Dover-Eyota’s stunning rally with eight minutes left to bump off #2 seed (and #7 in the final GBB poll of the year) Lake City. Stewartville grabbed and early lead and their ability to handle the buzz saw press plus their size advantage eliminated Cotter’s Ramblers, last year’s section runner ups to Caledonia.
Usually the 1AA and 1A quarterfinals are spread out over two days allowing myself a chance to see all the pertinent teams that are missing on my to do list. This year they crammed both days into Monday. The AA got to hold their event at the Mayo Civic Auditorium and Arena. The A teams were forced to head to Century and Lourdes High schools. The tournament administrators probably thought that the caucus system was in play (hence the drought of games Tuesday throughout the state and, if there is action, it happens after 8 pm today.) I feel ripped off.
DOVER-EYOTA 70, LAKE CITY 62
The #7 Seed Eagles reversed an earlier 70-60 loss to the Tigers in a dramatic second half comeback. DE trailed 54-38 with eight minutes to go when DE took their first time out. That proved to be the magic elixir as they came out soaring. It was the long distance shooting that propelled DE back into the contest. Three straight times after that time out the Eagles nailed a 3. The first was by Lindsay Field. The next two by Kylie Lacey. This was a concern for LC as they took their first time out at the 6:44 mark. The score was now 54-47. And DE believed. For eight possessions the Tigers did not score. By that time DE was breathing down their necks at 54-53—-with 15 unanswered points. The next four minutes were nip and tuck. Mya Shones of LC, who reached the 1000 point mark on a put back four minutes into the second half, scored again inside to make it 60-57 with 1:30 to go. DE miss fired on a three. In the ensuing LC possession, in which they were trying to run out the clock, they mishandled the ball and DE had one more crack at scoring. Another DE time out with 15.6 left set up the scene. With 5.4 seconds left Allison Thompson banked in a 3 from up top. A desperation 3 by LC sent the game into OT. DE pulled in front first with one free throw on their first possession. LC went right back in front on their second chance. It was still a 62-61 lead for LC with 1:44 left. Another well placed time out set the Eagles up for four scores in their next five possessions, all at the free throw line. The inability to secure the rebound on a missed second free throw with 1:07 left sealed LC’s fate. Malia Nelson grabbed the offensive board for DE and they added another point with 57.9 left to make it 67-62. LC could not generate the offense and turned it over complicating their comeback efforts.
The first half had whip saw drama of its own. LC scored on their first two touches and led 9-4. DE started their 3 point fireworks soon thereafter and pushed their lead out to 29-22 with 3:33 left in the first half. LC righted the ship and outscored the Eagles 15-2 down the stretch to lead 36-31 at the break. DE remained in that stupor until the eight minute mark of the second half.
LC did have some size advantage, but it was DE that soared on boards. A whopping 26 offensive rebounds gave DE plenty of opportunities to score. DE’s ability to shoot from behind the arc was key to victory with eleven 3s and a strong 31.42 percentage. LC, by contrast was only at 13.33. DE was also strong with the ball facing what turned out to be more of a nuisance press by LC with only single digit turnovers on the night—nine. Another key part to the win for DE was holding Natalie Bremer to 15 points. That is how many she had at half.
Lilly Meincke looks like Lauren Jensen of Lakeville North to me.
DE now stands at 20-7 and gets #3 seed Goodhue on Saturday. LC wraps up the year at 22-6.
|TOP SCORER||Kylie Lacey 20||Mya Shones 26|
TRENCH PLAYER: Kylie Lacey, 20 points, 125 pp100, and a 30 score in the 31 Club. Two 3s in the comeback was the rocket fuel for DE.
STEWARTVILLE 62, WINONA COTTER 40
No dramatic finishes, but this was another case of a revenge win from an earlier 62-46 loss. It was another case of being able to withstand the defensive heat of the Cotter press. One difference in this contest was the Tigers were victorious. The speed and pace of this game, along with the substitutions, was frenetic. The previous game was glacial with subs. Here players soon became exhausted or had to park it on the pine due to fouls. Stewartville scored the first six points of the game and never trailed. Perhaps the key breaking point came when Stewartville’s Maia Peterson scored on two consecutive &1 plays in the first half to push the score to 32-17 with 1:40 left in the half. Stewartville scored the first seven points in the second half to make it 41-21 and it was going to be an uphill battle for Cotter.
Stewartville won the turnover differential +4. Their size advantage on the boards had them with a +15 advantage.
The schedule may have hurt Cotter. Their last game against a top 8 seed was on Jan. 13 with a 46-41 win over Zumbrota-Mazeppa. In their last 10 games they only faced three AA teams. The Morgan sisters, a key part of the Cotter offense, were held to a combined 10 points.
Stewartville now gets a date with #1 Rochester Lourdes on Saturday. The two teams split in the course of the year. Winona Cotter is finished at 23-4
|TOP SCORER||Two with 12||Jordan Rubie 11|
TRENCH PLAYER: Maia Peterson of Stewartville with 12 points, 133.3 pp100, and a team best 24 score in the 31 Club. Six points on two &1s broke Cotter in the first half.