Outscoring Redwood Valley 8-0 in the final three minutes, the top-seeded Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial Knights rallied for a 66-60 win over the upstart Cardinals Friday night in Montevideo.
The Cardinals (15-11) held double-digit leads in both halves, but the?Knights would make the plays down the stretch to thwart an upset bid.
“The girls played extremely hard and I’m proud of the way we left it all on the court,” Coach Mike Kessler said, “We had a couple of cold stretches in the second half and they were able to make the plays at the end of the game.”
Things got off to a great start for the Cards, as junior Steph Jensen’s three- pointer - her 14th point of the half - gave Redwood Valley an early 23-15 lead.
The Knights would rally to tie the score at 32 but Sam Felt would score five late points to put the Cards up 37-34 at the half.
The Cardinals would score the first seven points of the second half, including four from Felt and a Julia Busiahn three that upped the lead to 44-34.
LCWM senior sharp-shooter Tara Roelofs - playing on one knee - would help the Knights rally however to take a 53-51 lead with under eight minutes to play.
Down 56-51, the Cards would answer back with six straight to go up 57-56 and Busiahn’s three-pointer with 2:42 to go gave the Cards a 60-58 advantage.
Roelofs would counter with her fifth three of the night to reclaim the lead for the Knights and the Cards would go ice cold in the final two minutes, going scoreless to end the game.
“I knew it was going to be tight but I told the girls I thought we had a good chance to win,” Kessler said, “It was a fun game, I thought we gave the fans plenty to cheer about.”
Liz Smith paced the Cardinals with 16 points and eight rebounds.
Jensen had 14 points, two rebounds and two assists but did not score a point in the second half.
Busiahn finished with 13 points, four rebounds and three assists and Felt had 11 points, eight assists and four rebounds.
Victoria Quast chipped in with two points and six boards, Janessa Read had two points and five boards and Makenzie Mace added two points and two assists.
The Cards shot a solid 45 percent from the floor (15-for-31 in the first half) and finished with 17 turnovers.
The Knights held off YME in the North Sub-Section final and will face South champ Worthington for the Section 3A crown.
Section 3AA-North Semifinals
Cardinal scoring - Smith 16, Jensen 14, Busiahn 13, Felt 11, Read 2, Quast 2, Mace 2
Knight scoring - K. Schroeder 27, Roelofs 17, Hohenstein 9, M. Schroeder 6, Denn 5, Schaffer 2
Cinderella Cardinals fall just short in upset bid
Mar 7, 2012 at 12:01 AM Mar 7, 2012 at 6:14 AM