The Pine City girls basketball team is headed to the Section 6AA semifinals after upsetting the #3 seed St. Cloud Cathedral on Saturday night. The Dragons overcome a team that made it to last year's finals and had beat the Dragons earlier in the regular season.
From Head Coach Ted Hasz:
Pine City 66
The Dragons were able to outlast a very scrappy and determined Spectrum squad to advance in the first round of the section 6AA playoffs. Both teams came out shooting the ball very well. "Offensively, we had a very good first 8 minutes, but we had a hard time slowing Spectrum down." "After a few adjustments the kids were able to get some stops to get us into half time with a 10 point lead." From there the Dragons were able to grow the lead to over 20 points a few occassions and coasted to the first round victory. The Dragons had 8 in the scoring column. Ellie Hasz had 23, while Lily Wilson had 19. Hannah Lorsung had 7, Alaina Steele had 5, Ashley Faur and Meredith Kolling had 4 each, Sophie Lahti 3 and Jolie Wicktor 1. Wilson had 8 assists and 3 steals. Steele and Kolling each had 3 rebounds and 3 steals. Hasz had 5 rebounds and 2 steals. Lahti had 3 rebounds and 2 steals. Emily Carpenter had 2 rebounds.
"The first playoff game is always interesting as it is like a new season. We were very proud of how the girls came out and played hard and found a way to advance,"
Pine City 44
St. Cloud Cathedral 42
It was one of the biggest wins in many years for the Pine City girls basketball program on Saturday night as the Dragons will advance to the section 6AA semi finals after a thrilling 44-42 victory over the Crusaders. The Dragons had a slow start and found themselves down 8-2 about 5 minutes into the contest. From there the first half belonged to the Dragons outscoring their opponents 28-16 the rest of the half. "The girls played some of their best basketball of the season over that stretch. The difference was that we were playing championship level defense and rebounding the basketball very well." In the second half the Dragons led by as much as 10 points only to have the Crusaders cut the lead to 1 point at 41-40. 8th grader Sophie Lahti hit a big three pointer to give the Dragons a 4 point lead and from there were able to hang on for the big win. "We were able to fight off some adversity with some foul trouble and the pressures of tournament basketball." The kids stayed poised and made some big plays." Lily Wilson had a big steal and bucket when Cathedral was making a run. "It seemed like we were able to answer their runs just enough to keep the lead. Pine City had very balanced scoring with Ellie Hasz and Lily Wilson in double figures with 11 and 10 points respectively. Ashley Faur hit two big threes in the first half when the Dragons were down early to keep them in the game and finished the night with 9 points. Sophie Lahti had 5 points, Hannah Lorsung had 4, Alaina Steele had 3 and Chloe Alleman had 2. "I can't say enough about how the kids played on the defensive end of the floor. Hannah Lorsung and Chloe Alleman did a great job on Cathedrals 6'4 kid." Emily Carpenter and Meredith Kolling came in and gave us some good minutes."
The Dragons will play Royalton at 8 pm on Tuesday night at St. John's University. A win would be a game at St. Cloud State for the section championship on Friday evening at 8 pm.
Photo Credit to Jenna Steele