The Providence Academy Lions are a state finalist following a 58-54 upset victory over top-ranked and previously undefeated New London-Spicer in the Class AA semifinals on Tuesday, April 6 at Target Center in downtown Minneapolis. Sophomore center Grace Counts helped fuel the upset with all 10 of her points in the second half and a pivotal block in the final seconds as the Lions held off the surging Wildcats.
New London-Spicer (23-1) was attempting to return to the Class AA championship game for the first time since 2016 with it was the runner-up. Senior guard Mackenzie Rich scored 18 points for the Wildcats and senior center Erin Knisley had nine of her 15 points in the first half.
Lions seventh-grade guard Maddyn Greenway had 16 points and freshman guard Brooke Hohenecker had 16 points each while junior forward Maria Counts chipped in 15 to send the Lions (22-1) to the Class AA championship game for the first time since winning the crown in 2012. The Lions are in the state tournament for the fifth time.
Hohenecker scored 14 points and was 4 of 7 from three-point range in staking the Lions to a 27-24 lead at the break. While Grace Counts was held off the scoreboard in the first half, she was present elsewhere with six rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a steal.