Girls basketball section opens with highs and lows

Section 7AAAA
No. 4 Andover 79,  No. 5 Duluth East 49
Andover began sections with a solid 30-point win in front of the home-court fans Thursday night.

The Huskies (12-15) led by eight points at the break and pulled away in the second half by a 40-18 score as Madi Hahn had a game-high 25 points on 10-15 shooting from the field. She also converted 4-5 three pointers and had four steals on the defensive end of the floor.

Andover's Chloe Perry, left, grabs a loose ball during a Northwest Suburban Conference game against Park Center Feb. 20. Photo by Bill Jones

Andover’s Chloe Perry, left, grabs a loose ball during a Northwest Suburban Conference game against Park Center Feb. 20. Photo by Bill Jones

McKenzie Becker was the only other Andover player to score in double digits with 14 points, three assists and three steals. Olivia Graham had nine points and eight rebounds for another consistent effort inside as 12 Huskies scored.

Duluth East was led by Hannah Johnson’s 14 points.

Andover won the previous meeting of the season 61-55 Jan. 12 in Andover which was followed by a six-game skid before the Huskies regrouped to finish the regular season 3-3. Two of those wins came by a total of four points.

Andover took care of business to set up a semifinal meeting with top-seed Forest Lake, of which the Huskies lost to in the season-opner 73-48 in Forest Lake Nov. 27.

No. 2 Anoka 40, No. 7 Blaine 25
Anoka junior Kyrah Fredenberg was the lone player on the floor to score more than eight points while she posted 14 points in the quarterfinal victory over the winless Bengals (0-27) in Anoka Feb. 28.

Blaine was held to 25 points or less for the sixth time this season after posting just 15 points in a 51-15 loss to Anoka in their previous meeting Feb. 8. The season-low (62-9) came at Maple Grove Jan. 18.

Anoka's Amber Bray, left, goes up for a shot in the paint against Park Center during a Feb. 13 contest in Anoka. Photo by Bill Jones

Anoka’s Amber Bray, left, goes up for a shot in the paint against Park Center during a Feb. 13 contest in Anoka. Photo by Bill Jones

Senior guard Jenny Chamberlain led the Bengals with eight points.

Anoka (18-9) moves on to face third-seed Cambridge-Isanti in the semifinals March 5 at North Branch High School. The game is scheduled to tip-off at 8 p.m. following the other semifinal game (Forest Lake vs. Andover) which starts at 6 p.m.

No. 3 Cambridge-Isanti 81, No. 6 St. Francis 52
Seventeen days after their other meeting this season, Cambridge-Isanti posted a second win over St. Francis in the section quarterfinals on the same court in Cambridge. The Saints end the season with a 7-20 record and dropped the final five out of six games.

Nicole Borstner and Emily Larson each had 12 points to guide the Saints as 11 players scored.

Cambridge’s Lily Porta posted a game-high 21 points. Brynn Liljander had 17 points, Amanda Hanson had 16 points and Justine Larson had 14 points in what appears to be another solid Cambridge squad, ready to make a run at another section title.

Section 5AAAA
No. 2 Centennial 69, No. 7 Coon Rapids 34
Centennial took a 32-18 lead by halftime and never let up in the Section 5AAAA quarterfinal game between Northwest Suburban Conference foes Feb. 28.

The Cougars had 12 players factor in the scoring led by Jill Conrad’s game-high 16 points and Paige Waytashek added 12 points.

Coon Rapids senior post Courtney Pasiowitz was the lone player to reach double-digits with 10 points. Raquel Hawkins had eight points as the Cardinals finish the season 6-21, losing the final 8-of-9 games.

While Coon Rapids dropped both regular season meetings against the Cougars, they nearly upset the No. 9-ranked team in a 56-54 loss Feb. 19 at Coon Rapids.

Centennial moved on to face No. 3 Osseo in the semifinals while No. 5 Champlin Park topped No. 4 Maple Grove 66-52 and top-seed Roseville downed No. 8 Irondale in the other half of the bracket.

The section final will be played at Anoka High School at 8 p.m. March 8.

Section 3AAA
No. 6  Totino-Grace 70, No. 3 Spring Lake Park 63
Third seeded Spring Lake Park ended what was a promising season earlier than many expected in the opening round of the Section 3AAA tournament on the home court in Spring Lake Park Feb. 28.

The Panthers won both North Suburban Conference games by a combined 18 points but like the saying goes, beating a team for the third time in a given season is always the toughest.

Spring Lake Park's Christina Wakeman, right, goes up for a contested shot in a North Suburban Conference game against Columbia Heights Feb. 19. Photo by Bill Jones

Spring Lake Park’s Christina Wakeman, right, goes up for a contested shot in a North Suburban Conference game against Columbia Heights Feb. 19. Photo by Bill Jones

The Panthers opened a 31-23 halftime lead but the Eagles came roaring back with a 47-32 second half run to sustain its season for at least one game.

Spring Lake Park senior guard Breanna Semanko had a game-high 18 points  while UW-Milwaukee prospect Christina Wakeman had 14 points and senior guard Alexis Luedtke added 12 points.

Totino-Grace was led by Madison Soukup’s 14 points while two others contributed double digit points in the upset.

Totino-Grace moves on to face No. 2 seed Park Center in the second game of the March 5 double-header at Maple Grove High School.

Top-seed DeLaSalle faces No. 4 St. Anthony Village in the early game at Maple Grove. Winners of those games move on to the section final set for 6 p.m. March 8 at Anoka High School.

Section 4A
No. 3 Legacy Christian 54, No. 14 Community of Peace Academy 22
Legacy Christian opened a 32-7 lead by the half and increased that lead in the second half for its 14th win of the season.

Lexi Weddle led the Lions with 12 points and Renee Scheil had 10 points. Legacy will host No. 6 seed Minneapolis North Community School in Andover March 2.

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