Girls Basketball: Minneota overpowers LQPV in 3A playoffs
MARSHALL — For the second year in a row, the Lac qui Parle Valley girls basketball team saw a memorable season come to a close just shy of a state tournament berth.
Minneota proved to be too much in every facet on Friday night to come away with a 72-57 win over the Eagles in the Section 3A North Sub-section final at Southwest Minnesota State.
Three Minneota players scored at least 18 points, led by 21 from guard Abby Hennen. Forwards Lydia Sussner and Lizzy Gillingham both chipped in 18 points as the trio accounted for all but 15 of the Vikings' points.
One season ago, LQPV saw its postseason run fall just one game short of the Class A state tournament; this year's 26-4 team wound up two games shy of heading to the Twin Cities.
With senior guard and career 2,000-point scorer Kelsea Lund kept quiet for most of the night, it was Haley Wollschlager that kept the Eagles alive for much of the game. Wollschlager scored 20 of LQPV's first 34 points and finished with that total for a team-high in scoring.
Lund finished with 15 points, nearly all of which came down the final stretch. With the Vikings denying all outside looks for the sharpshooter, Lund had two points until the 5:53 mark of the second half.
By that point, Minneota had opened up a 55-45 lead, rattling off a 13-7 run after the Eagles had cut the lead to four points.
LQPV could only draw as close as eight points the rest of the way as Sussner's work in the paint and the Vikings' free-throw shooting put the game away.
With both sides exchanging leads in the first half, the Vikings entered the break with a 29-23 lead. The Eagles took a 21-17 lead on a Wollschlager triple, their biggest advantage of the night, before Minneota closed on a 12-2 run.
The Vikings advanced to the Section 3A championship game next Friday against the 2017 section winner, Southwest Minnesota Christian.
Wollschlager made the two lone triples on the evening for the Eagles as Lund and fellow guard Sidney Gerdes were blanked from outside.
In a charge led by Sussner and Gillingham, the Vikings were also able to dominate on the boards, out-rebounding the Eagles 34-13. Minneota held a 13-1 advantage on the offensive glass.
Minneota 72, LQPV 57
LQPV (26-4) 23 34 — 57
Minneota (24-4) 29 43 —72
LAC QUI PARLE VALLEY - Scoring: Haley Wollschlager 20, Kelsea Lund 15, Grace Hegland 8, Lindsay Kranz 4, Sidney Gerdes 8, Katlyn Gades 2, ... 3-point shots: Wollschlager 2 ... Rebound leader: Lund 4 ... Assist leader: Lund 2, Wollschlager 2 ... Steal leader: Lund 1, Kranz 1
MINNEOTA - Scoring: Morgan Kockelman 4, Lizzy Gillingham 18, Morgan Hennen 7, Natalee Rolbiecki 2, Abby Hennen 21, Lydia Sussner 18 ... 3-point shots: Gillingham 1, Abby Hennen 2 ... Rebound leader: NA ... Assist leader: NA ... Steal leader: NA