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Girls Basketball, Class AAAA semifinals: St. Michael-Albertville 55, Eden Prairie 40

Posted: Thursday, March 16, 2023 - 9:53 PM


St. Michael-Albertville has earned another shot at taking down Hopkins.

The Knights, the No. 2 seed in the Class AAAA field, carved out a second consecutive opportunity in as many seasons to take on top-seeded Hopkins following a 55-40 victory over No. 3 Eden Prairie in the semifinals of the Minnesota State High School League’s Girls Basketball State Tournament on Thursday, March 16 at Williams Arena on the University of Minnesota campus.

Senior guard Tessa Johnson scored 29 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and had three assists to power the Knights (28-3) into a rematch of last season’s Class AAAA championship match and an opportunity to break a three-game losing skid to the Royals over the past year. In addition to a 72-56 setback a year ago in the Class AAAA final, St. Michael-Albertville dropped two contests with Hopkins during the Lake Conference season: 75-66 on Jan. 27 and 104-94 on Feb. 21.

St. Michael-Albertville is seeking its first state championship in girls basketball since winning the Class AAA crown in 2009. The Knights also won a championship in 2001 with the Class AA title.

Johnson, a University of South Carolina recruit, scored 17 points in the first half when the Knights built a 31-19 lead at the half. Junior guard JaKahla Craft added 11 points and six rebounds as St. Michael-Albertville defeated Eden Prairie for the third time this season. During the Lake Conference season, the Knights recorded a 97-92 victory over Eden Prairie (21-10) on Jan. 20 and a 67-61 win on Feb. 13.

Senior guard Molly Lenz scored 21 points for Eden Prairie, which will now end the season against Stillwater in the Class AAAA third-place game on Saturday at 4 p.m. at Concordia (St. Paul).

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Girls Basketball, Class AAAA semifinals: Hopkins 79, Stillwater 51