An impressive second-half rally helped fourth-seed Redwood Valley roll to an 80-63 victory over visiting Paynesville Area Saturday night (March 2) in Section 3AA-North quarterfinal action held in Redwood Falls.
The Cardinals (13-11) actually trailed at the half 29-28 but would score 52 second-half points to leave the Bulldogs (11-13) in the dust and advance on to semifinal action March 7 in Willmar.
Redwood Valley will face top-seed New London/Spicer (20-7) – a 74-35 winner over Montevideo – Thursday at 6 p.m. with the winner advancing to the Section 3AA-North title game Saturday at 12:30 p.m. in Marshall.
The Cardinals defeated the Wildcats 97-90 in overtime Feb. 21 in an offensive battle.
“We think that we can pressure the ball and speed up the game to try and take their bigs out of play,” Coach Aaron Lindahl said. “If we are patient on offense, and play great team defense, we will put ourselves in a position to compete. Playoff game with a playoff atmosphere means mistakes, and runs are going to happen, so we need to make sure we weather those and handle them like a winning team does. Not a lot of people in the Section really gave us a chance, especially after seeing the voting. So we are going to make sure to play with a chip on our shoulder and show the Section the team we can be.”
Morris Area/CA (17-8) will face Minnewaska Area (18-8) in the other semifinal.
Saturday night the Cardinals played a sloppy first half, finishing with double-digit turnovers and trailing by a point at the break.
The second half was all Cardinals, however, as they regained the lead, took control early on in the half and would cruise to the win.
Cole Woodford led a balanced attack with 16 points, 11 rebounds and two steals. Kyle Huhnerkoch had 12 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals and Colin Wells added 11 points and three assists.
Bryant Haas finished with 10 points and two assists, Connor Josephson flirted with a triple-double finishing with eight points, nine assists and 12 rebounds, Bronson Smith had five points and three boards, Alex Lang added five points and Carson Woodford had four points and three rebounds.
The Cardinals shot 30 percent from the floor in the first half and 58 percent in the second and were 16-of-20 from the line.