(Target Center, Minneapolis) -- The BBE Jaguars girls basketball team has punched their ticket to the state championship game for the first time in school history after they gave Sleepy Eye St. Mary's their first loss of the season 51-50 in the State Class A Tournament Semifinals.
Defense led the way for the Jags as they held the potent Knights to their lowest output of the season and 28 points below their season average of 78. Also keeping star guard Madison Mathiowetz to 23 points, ten below her season average.
Allisa Knight led the way for the Jags as she connected for 15 points and ten boards with a huge four blocked shots. Senior guard Josie Knutson came off the bench for 13 points, 11 of those after the intermission. She also made two of the three three point shots the Jags were able to get to go down on 15 attempts as the Knights played some excellent defense of their own inside the Target Center. Despite the Knights D the Jags committed just nine turnovers to 15 for SESM. Abby Berge finished with seven points and ten rebounds.
For SESM Mathiowetz led with 23, Reagan Severson had ten as did Sydney Windschitl.
The Knights outrebounded the Jags 52-48, but lost the free throw line scoring as the Jags had 16 makes from the charity stripe to just eight for SESM. It was made foul shots down the stretch that preserved the lead for BBE as they made 13 of 18 in the games waning minutes.
With the win the Jaguars are now 23-1 on the season and will play Friday afternoon at 1pm against a familiar foe in the Minneota Vikings.
In the second nail-biter of the day, Minneota (24-0) defeated Mountain Iron-Buhl 54-53. Senior guard Abby Hennen netted the game-winner for the Vikings on a free throw with two seconds left in regulation. Hennen missed the first shot after being fouled by sophomore guard Sage Ganyo, but she made sure the second one counted. Freshman guard Jordan Zubich heaved up a last-second attempt for Mountain Iron-Buhl, but it fell well short of the basket.
The Rangers were up 51-47 with 4:11 left in the game, but Hennen brought Minneota within 53-50 when she drained a three-pointer at 2:16. Senior guard Abby Rost scored on the Vikings’ next possession and Minneota junior guard Natalee Rolbiecki tied the score at 53-53 on a free throw with 1:06 left in the game.
Hennen and Robiecki tallied 19 and 18 points, respectively, for Minneota. Rolbiecki also grabbed a game-high eight rebounds for the Vikings. Zubich paced Mountain Iron-Buhl with 14 points. Both Zubich and junior forward Ava Butler had six rebounds for the Rangers.
Minneota advances to face Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa for the Class A title. That game is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Friday, April 9. Mountain Iron-Buhl closes its season at 19-5.
You'll be able to hear the championship game on 106.5 The Train with the Rambow Pregame Show starting about 12:45pm and online at 1065thetrain.com.
BBE vs SESM Boxscore