Section girls basketball 3A North: LQPV Eagles' momentum devours Rabbits
Prep girls basketball report for Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022, in west central Minnesota. Lac qui Parle Valley breaks open a close game early to beat Wabasso 53-26 in the Section 3A-North playoffs. MACCRAY beats Canby.
MONTEVIDEO — Once Lac qui Parle Valley got going, there was no stopping the Eagles from advancing in the Section 3A-North playoffs.
Clinging onto a one-point lead over seventh-seeded Wabasso in the section girls basketball quarterfinals, second-seeded LQPV closed the first half on a 14-2 run. The trend continued in the second half as the Eagles scored the first eight points after halftime on their way to a 53-26 victory.
“We started off OK and then we got into a little bit of a lull there,” said Eagles head coach Dylan Erickson. “We were stuck at seven points for a long time and let them dictate things to us. We didn’t bring the pressure to ‘em or move the ball that well.
“Then by the end of the first half, we had a nice little run there. We moved the ball much better.”
Early on, the Rabbits’ 2-3 zone defense caused LQPV problems with getting a consistent offense. That allowed Wabasso to climb back from being down 7-0 to trailing 8-7. Freshman center Anistasia Smith came off the bench and scored five of the Rabbits’ first seven points. She and Avery Carlson each had a team-high nine points.
“They definitely caught us off-guard there and it took us a minute,” said LQPV center Camryn Lee. “Instead of playing down to their level, we need to play the way we play. It took us a minute to get into the flow of the game.”
Needing to get out of its lull, LQPV leaned on the junior duo of Lee and Taylor Shelstad.
Shelstad began the first-half run with back-to-back 3-pointers. Lee followed up with six straight points.
“(Camryn’s) presence and leadership shined today,” Erickson said. “She stays pretty calm and collected out there. I know she missed a couple early and she was getting frustrated, but you can’t tell on the court. She stayed pretty calm the whole time. … We split the defense and got her inside a little bit. She’s got a really nice touch around the rim. It was fun to see that out of her.”
Lee and Shelstad accounted for all of the Eagles’ first-half points. Fourteen of Shelstad’s 20 points came before halftime. Lee scored eight of her game-high 23 points in the opening half as LQPV built a 22-9 lead.
“Me and Taylor have played together since fourth grade so we have that connection,” Lee said. “We’ve played together forever and we know how each other plays and know what to look for.”
The second half began with 3-pointers from Addy Bonn and Lee, followed by a layup by Shelstad that made it 30-9.
“When the crowd and fans and team get into it, that’s when we play our best,” Lee said. “We need that energy.”
LQPV faces sixth-seeded MACCRAY in the sub-section semifinals at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the R/A Facility at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall. The Wolverines advanced with a 51-42 upset over third-seeded Canby.
The Eagles won both matchups against MACCRAY: 55-44 on Jan. 28 in Madison and 52-43 on Feb. 4 in Clara City.
“When you get down to the big court, everything changes,” Erickson said. “The stage is a little bit bigger. … Come playoffs, people tweak things and things change. We’ll get back to work Monday and put a game plan together and hopefully take care of business again.”
LQPV 53, Wabasso 26
Wabasso (9-17) 9 17 — 26
LQPV (19-7) 22 31 — 53
WABASSO - Scoring: Anistasia Smith 9, Avery Carlson 9, Kelsey Frank 5, Ashley Daub 3 … 3-point shots: Frank 1, Carlson 1 … Rebound leader: n/a … Assist leader: n/a … Steal leader: n/a ... Block leader: n/a
LAC QUI PARLE VALLEY - Scoring: Camryn Lee 23, Taylor Shelstad 20, Tori Bungarden 4, Rylee Lund 3, Addy Bonn 3 … 3-point shots: Shelstad 2, Lund 1, Bonn 1, Lee 1 … Rebound leader: n/a … Assist leader: n/a … Steal leader: n/a ... Block leader: n/a
MACCRAY 51, Canby 42
Sixth-seeded MACCRAY had a nine-point halftime lead and managed to hold onto it for a win over third-seeded Canby in the Section 3A-North tournament in Montevideo.
The Wolverines’ Ella Bourne paced all scorers with 21 points. Brielle Janssen followed up with 14 points, seven rebounds and a pair of blocks. Gabby Randt was a force in every facet of the game with eight points, eight rebounds, eight assists and eight steals.
The Lancers’ Aidyn Bruns (12), Kortney Leppke (11) and Ryann Hansen (10) all finished in double figures.
MACCRAY got a measure of revenge on Canby. On Jan. 4, the Lancers won the regular-season matchup, 50-44.
MACCRAY (13-13) 31 20 — 51
Canby (12-13) 22 20 — 42
MACCRAY - Scoring: Ella Bourne 21, Brielle Janssen 14, Elsie Sumner 2, Annie Bourne 6, Gabby Randt 8 … 3-point shots: E. Bourne 3, Janssen 1 … Rebound leader: Randt 8, Janssen 7 … Assist leader: Randt 8 … Steal leader: Randt 8 ... Block leader: Janssen 2
CANBY - Scoring: Paige Nelson 3, Kortney Leppke 11, Braelyn Merritt 1, Ryann Hansen 10, Camryn Ufkin 1, Aidyn Bruns 12, Maya Wente 4 … 3-point shots: Nelson 1 … Rebound leader: Wente 10, Bruns 7 … Assist leader: Hansen 4 … Steal leader: Wente 1 ... Block leader: Leppke 2, Wente 2