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Girls Basketball State Tournament 2024: Day One Recap

Posted: Wednesday, March 13, 2024 - 9:43 PM

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First-day results created familiar matchups in the semifinals of the Minnesota State High School League’s Girls Basketball State Tournament on Wednesday, March 13 at Williams Arena and adjacent Maturi Pavilion. Quarterfinals were played in the top three enrollment classes and semifinals are set. The Class A field begins its tournament on Thursday, March 14.

In Class AA, top-seeded and two-time defending champion Providence Academy will face No. 5 Crosby-Ironton. Two of Minnesota’s current all-time scorers will face off for the second time this season when the semifinals are played on Friday, March 15. Sophomore Maddyn Greenway had 49 points in the Lions’ quarterfinal victory and Crosby-Ironton sophomore Tori Oehrlein had 33 in the Rangers’ victory over No. 4 New London-Spicer. On Jan. 30, Providence Academy recorded a 94-75 victory over Crosby-Ironton. In the other Class AA semifinal, No. 3 Minnehaha Academy will face No. 2 Albany, in a clash of traditional powers.

The Class AAA semifinal between No. 1 Benilde-St. Margaret’s and No. 5 Stewartville is a rematch of the championship a year ago that Benilde-St. Margaret’s won. On Jan. 13 of this season, the Red Knights zipped past the Tigers, 74-48. In the second semifinal, No. 2 DeLaSalle plays No. 3 Alexandria Area.

In Class AAAA, it is feels like a reunion of Lake Conference powers. In the first semifinal, top-seeded Hopkins faces No. 4 Maple Grove. Earlier Wednesday, Maple Grove edged No. 5 Lakeville North to record an historic first by snapping an 0-5 cold spell in its last five quarterfinal appearances. Earlier this season, Maple Grove fell just short of Hopkins in a 68-62 setback. In the second semifinal, No. 2 Minnetonka will meet No. 3 St. Michael-Albertville for the third time this season. St. Michael-Albertville, the defending Class AAAA champion, lost twice to the Skippers by close margins during the Lake Conference schedule.

Here is a look at Wednesday’s quarterfinals:

Class AA

  • No. 1 Providence Academy 94, Perham 84: Providence Academy began defense of its Class AA crown in convincing fashion with a wide-open attack that seemingly scored points at will. Sophomore guard Maddyn Greenway poured in 49 points and had eight assists to power the Lions (26-4). She also had 12 rebounds, five steals and was 18 of 21 from the free throw line. Ninth-grade guard Emma Millerbernd added 20 points and six rebounds. Perham (26-4) kept things close in the first half and only trailed by six, but Providence Academy’s up tempo attack didn’t let up. Perham’s Willow Thiel, a senior guard, was equally impressive with 41 points and 20 rebounds.
  • No. 5 Crosy-Ironton 63, No. 4 New London-Spicer 50: Sophomore guard Tori Oehrlein scored 21 of her 33 points in the first half when the Rangers (25-6) built a nine-point lead en route to defeating the Wildcats (28-3) at Williams Arena. The do-everything Oehrlein also had 15 rebounds, five assists and eight steals. Senior guard Margaret Silgen added 11 points. New London-Spicer’s Ayla Caskey, a sophomore guard, had 17 points.   
  • No. 2 Albany 58, Rochester Lourdes 41: Albany, the runner-up to Providence Academy a year ago, had two players finish with at least 20 points in its victory. Senior forward Kylan Gerads led the way for the Huskies (29-1) with 26 points and senior forward Alyssa Sand was right behind her with 20. Rochester Lourdes (21-10), the Section 1AA champion, had 22 points from sophomore forward Lauren Hust.
  • No. 3 Minnehaha Academy 75, Waterville-Elysian-Morristown 39: Junior guard Addison Mack poured in 29 points and senior forward Angel Hill added 26 as the Redhawks raced into the semifinals with a victory at the Maturi Pavilion. The Redhawks (27-3) built a 48-21 advantage at the half and extended it from there. Senior forward Claire Bohlen and senior post Alayna Atherton had 10 points each for the Buccaneers (19-12).

Class AAA

  • No. 1 Benilde-St. Margaret’s 75, Minneapolis Roosevelt 40: Senior guard Olivia Olson, a University of Michigan recruit, scored 35 points and junior forward Zahara Bishop added 18 to power the top-seeded Red Knights (25-5) past Minneapolis Roosevelt, which was making its state tournament debut. The Teddies (23-8) battled throughout and kept Benilde-St. Margaret’s close in the first half, trailing by just six at the intermission. But the Red Knights blazed their way to a 42-13 outburst in the second half. Senior guard Olivia Wren led Minneapolis Roosevelt with 17 points.
  • No. 5 Stewartville 47, No. 4 St. Peter 46: Sophomore guard Audrey Shindelar made a jumper in the lane with 1:16 remaining in regulation time to give Stewartville a three-point advantage and that was enough to hold off the Saints in the Class AAA quarterfinal. Senior guard Savannah Hedin led the Tigers (22-8) with 15 points while Shindelar added 13. Senior guard Rhyan Holmgren had 14 points for St. Peter.
  • No. 2 DeLaSalle 81, Totino-Grace 49: Junior guard Aneisha Scott and sophomore guard Madalyn Blaylark scored 14 points each to pace five scorers in double figures as the Islanders (26-3) powered past the Eagles (17-12) at the Maturi Pavilion. Junior guard Chloe Nuss had 28 points and seven rebounds for Totino-Grace.
  • No. 3 Alexandria Area 67, Rock Ridge 50: Juniors Hadley Thul and MaCee Linow scored 21 points each to pace Alexandria Area in the final Class AAA quarterfinal. Sophomore Lauren Beyer added 16 points in sending the Cardinals (25-4) into the Class AAA semifinals for the second consecutive season. A season ago, Alexandria Area placed fourth. Rock Ridge (26-4), a state tournament rookie comprised of Iron Range communities, had 20 points from junior guard Anna Westby and another 17 from sophomore guard Alexis Lamppa.

Class AAAA

  • No. 1 Hopkins 66, White Bear Lake 39: Junior guard Lauren Hillesheim scored 17 points in 24 minutes of play to help send Hopkins to its victory over White Bear Lake in the first quarterfinal of the day. Senior guard Liv McGill, assessed two fouls early, chipped in 14 points and eight assists. The Royals (26-3) outpaced the Bears (21-8) in the first half, racing to a 39-16 advantage. Eighth-grade forward Sarah Poepard had 11 points for White Bear Lake.
  • No. 4 Maple Grove 56, No. 5 Lakeville North 55: Off the inbounds with 1.9 seconds remaining in regulation time, senior forward Ava Cossette lofted a high, arching pass to teammate Claire Stern, a senior forward, who was camped behind Lakeville North’s defense. Stern reciprocated the brilliant pass by making the layup that followed as the horn sounded to lift the Crimson (25-4) to their first quarterfinal victory in the past six state tournament trips. Lakeville North (24-6), after calling a timeout to discuss defensive strategy, came out and double-teamed Maple Grove senior wing Jordan Ode, who had 16 points. About a half-minute earlier, the Panthers had taken a 55-54 lead on a basket by junior guard Elayna Boe. Lakeville North senior center Trinity Wilson led all scorers with 17 points.
  • No. 2 Minnetonka 74, Andover 48: Junior guard Aaliyah Crump scored 31 points and senior guard Tori McKinney added 12 points and 13 rebounds to power the Skippers (27-2) past the Huskies (24-5) in the third Class AAAA quarterfinal. Crump made three three-pointers, grabbed six rebounds, dished out three assists and had three steals. Senior guards Piper Engleby and Emma Frost had 13 points each for the Huskies.
  • No. 3 St. Michael-Albertville 68, Rosemount 57: St. Michael-Albertville, the reigning Class AAAA champion, took the first step toward a possible successful title defense by topping Rosemount in the final quarterfinal of the big-school bracket. Sophomore guard Cail Jahnke fueled the Knights’ attack with 22 points and senior guard Ja’Kahla Craft added 19 points and five assists. St. Michael-Albertville (23-7) outscored the Irish (22-7) 42-20 in the paint. Ninth-grade guard Amisha Ramlall had 15 points for the Irish and senior guard Avery Moeller had 13.

Next Article

Girls Basketball State Tournament 2024: Class A quarterfinals