Friday, March 26, 2021

The picture is a little clearer

The picture is at least somewhat clearer for the Class 1A state girls' basketball tournament next week. We now know the four teams that make up the north bracket of the state tournament field.

Tonight at Ralph Engelstad Arena in Thief River Falls, Cass Lake-Bena defeated Stephen-Argyle Central 65-55 to claim the Section 8A title and advance to the state tournament for the first time since 2005. This is their fourth trip overall in school history, as they also went to state in 1984 and 1998. The CL-B Panthers (17-5) are ranked No. 10 in the latest QRF rankings of Class 1A. CL-B, seeded No. 2, hammered No. 6-ranked and No. 1-seeded Fosston 58-30 in their Sub-Section 8A-East championship game earlier this week.

In tonight's section title game, Taryn Frazer was leading scorer for the Panthers with 19 points. Three others scored in double digits for Cass Lake-Bena. Kailee Fineday added 13 points, Seeyle 12 and Gabby Fineday 11. LaDuke chipped in eight points and Alyssa Wright two. The Panthers had 13 turnovers compared to 23 for the Storm.

After trailing 8-7 early, CL-B opened up a 35-23 halftime lead. They expanded that to 50-32 with under 10 minutes to go in the game. After trailing 58-41, S-A/C then went on a 12-0 run to close the gap, with eight of those points coming from foul shots. Ahead just 58-53 with three minutes to go, the Panthers closed out the game on a 7-2 run to punch their ticket to state.

*Here's a video clip from Lakeland Public Broadcasting featuring the Section 8A finals in Thief River Falls:

Below are the four teams that will be seeded tomorrow morning in B-B-E's half of the state field:
Section 5A: B-B-E
Section 6A: West Central Area
Section 7A: Mountain Iron-Buhl
Section 8A: Cass Lake-Bena

From everything I've read, the state tournament quarterfinal game that our girls' basketball team will play in is next week on Tuesday. That's all I know at this point. 

I'm working on more video clips to post from last night, but I doubt it will happen before you go to sleep tonight! (Yeah, I run odd hours)

Area boys' basketball playoff scores (section finals) on March 27:
Nevis 54, Upsala 48 (Nevis advances to state for the first time since 2017)
Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta 57, Pipestone Area 49
Hancock 77, Mahnomen/Waubun 71
Annandale 62, Melrose Area 60
Alexandria 58, Sauk Rapids-Rice 40
Fergus Falls 45, Perham 35
Central MN Christian 68, Southwest MN Christian 63

THANK YOU to Belgrade Hardware for sponsoring this Jaguar Sports playoff update!