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Girls Basketball: Eagles prove they belong

Lac qui Parle Valley guard Kelsea Lund, middle, follows her shot during a Feb. 10 game against KMS in Kerkhoven. Curt Hogg / Tribune1 / 2
Curt Hogg / Tribune Lac qui Parle Valley guard Isabel Schirm directs the offense during the first half against KMS on Friday night. 2 / 2

Lac qui Parle Valley's girls basketball team isn't concerned with rankings or what people expect of them and that mindset has guided them to the Section 3A final against Southwest Minnesota Christian.

LQPV is now one win away from its first-ever trip to The Minnesota State Girls Basketball Tournament and the Eagles will decide their fate at 8 p.m. on Friday at Southwest Minnesota State in Marshall.

LQPV enter the game with a 20-9 record and are ranked 35th in QRF rankings by Minnesota-Scores.net, but they've shown resiliency in the past few weeks to prove they belong in the conversation for a trip to the state tournament.

The Eagles capped off the regular season with the school's first Camden Conference championship following a 52-50 overtime victory over Tracy-Milroy-Balaton. In the postseason, LQPV has won three in a row, including a 52-44 upset victory over top-seeded Canby. The Lancers were ranked No. 14 in Minnesota Basketball News' March 3 rankings.

LQPV's opponent, though, is also coming off an upset victory. Southwest Minnesota Christian entered the Section 3A tournament as the second seed in the south but put forth a statement victory in the subsection final against Red Rock Central with a 97-67 victory.

SW Minnesota Christian is currently on a 13-game win streak and has a 24-3 record. SWMC has a potent offense that averages the second-highest point total in Class A with 81.2 points per game and has decimated section opponents for a 17-1 section record. All of this adds up to the No. 20 spot in the QRF rankings.

Senior forward Chantel Groen should give LQPV forwards a fit and her age could play a difference in the game. Both teams only bring a pair of seniors to the court and rely heavily on younger players.

LQPV's young backcourt of junior Kelsea Lund and sophomore Haley Wollschlager tend to be the stars but sophomore Grace Hegland will likely be tasked with handling Groen and could be one of the game's difference makers.

Jake Schultz

Jake Schultz is a sports reporter and photographer for the West Central Tribune, working his first job out of college. He graduated from St. John's University (CSB/SJU) in 2016 and is a baseball fanatic. You can follow him on Twitter @StJake29. 

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