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Lady Warriors beat West again, but lose out in end

WILLMAR -- The Ridgewater Lady Warriors came from 22 points down in the second half to beat Minnesota West 60-58 in an MCAC playoff game that determined the final entry into the eight-team state tournament field.

But it won't be Ridgewater.

In a strange twist, Hibbing Community College advances as the fifth team out of the North.

The South will have only three teams in the field when play begins Friday at the college here.

Ridgewater (11-14), which won four of its last five games, staged a late season run to tie Minnesota West for fourth in the South.

Lady Warriors coach Carrie Ogdahl argued the playoff game with West should determine the eighth team, but the executive committee went by the bylaws, which she maintains are confused and contradictory.

Hibbing (8-10) and Minnesota West (8-8) got the playoff nod over Ridgewater (7-9) with a better record in inter-divisional games.

Ogdahl questioned why Hibbing was even involved since the handbook states four teams from each division advance. However, the rulebook is confusing because it also states the eighth team can be from the North in some circumstances.

The MCAC executive committee voted to follow the code as stated for the rest of this season but seemed to hint it would be under review for next year.

No statistics were available.