Redwood Valley to face unbeaten Eden Valley-Watkins in Section 3AA title game
Rallying from nine points down with less than six minutes to play the Redwood Valley girls basketball team held on in the waning seconds to defeat rival Pipestone Area 41-38 and advance on to the Section 3AA title game Friday at 5 p.m. in Marshall.
With the victory, the Cardinals (18-8) have earned a spot in the Section 3AA final for the first time since 2014 (where they defeated Fairmont 49-42 for the title) and will face a daunting opponent in unbeaten Eden Valley-Watkins (27-0) with a trip to state on the line.
The Eagles have been a powerhouse all season long, winning all but one of their games by double-digits including three double-digit postseason wins to earn a trip to the Section final.
Redwood Valley, meanwhile, battled back from an 18-point deficit in the semifinals to defeat rival JCC 65-55 and Tuesday night came back from nine down twice to defeat the number one seeded Arrows.
Things looked bleak early on, as the Arrows jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead on a Cardinal team that appeared a bit shell-shocked by the moment. Head Coach Taya Kockelman’s team would settle down, however, cutting the lead to just 19-15 at the 4:38 mark of the half and 20-16 at the break.
An apparent injury to Cardinal standout Sydney Sommers late in the half was a concern, but she would come out of the second-half tunnel ready to go and the Cards would need her.
The two teams would trade buckets early in the second half, but an AJ Guggisberg three-pointer would narrow the gap to 29-27. Pipestone would then respond with a 7-0 run to up the lead back to nine at 36-27, and it appeared the Cards might be in trouble. Sophomore Haley Garman would come up with some key buckets inside, however, and a Sommers three-point play reduced the lead back to just two at 38-36.
Senior Amy Martius then hit a huge three-pointer to give the Cards a 39-38 lead – their first of the game – with just under three minutes to play in regulation.
Remarkably, the Arrows would not score another point, going scoreless in the final four minutes of play. With less than 10 seconds to play, sophomore Aubree Hicks was fouled in the Arrow end and calmly sank two free throws to put the Cards up 41-38.
The Arrows’ last gasp to tie the score fell short, and the Cards would walk away with a huge Sub-Section title win.
Garman led the way with 13 points, six rebounds and two blocked shots, Sommers added 11 points and four rebounds, Hicks had six points, eight rebounds and two steals and Martius added six points and two rebounds. Guggisberg finished with three points, Caitlyn Johnson added two points and Bri Panitzke had five rebounds and two steals.
Section 3A-North Sub-Section Final
Redwood Valley 41, Pipestone Area 38
Cardinal scoring - Garman 13, Sommers 11, Hicks 6, Martius 6, Guggisberg 3, Johnson 2 Arrow scoring - unavailable