The Grand Meadow Superlarks girls’ basketball team, the No. 3 seed in the Section 1A tournament took on No. 6 seed Rushford/Peterson in the tournament quarterfinals at the Mayo Civic Center Auditorium Tuesday evening, and it was the Larks coming through with timely 3-point shooting and defensive stops down the stretch to down the Trojans 47-45.
The Superlarks led by five in the early going of Tuesday’s matchup, only to see Rushford/Peterson reel off a 17-4 run to take what wound up being their biggest lead of the game at nine points at 22-13. The Trojans led by six at the half at 24-18, but Grand Meadow started the second half on a 13-4 run to edge their way back in front at 31-30. The game continued to see-saw back and forth from there until sophomore Lexy Foster stepped to the fore for the Superlarks and drained a pair of huge 3-pointers that helped the Larks take a 43-36 lead with under four minutes left. Another 3-pointer, this one from junior guard McKenna Hendrickson gave the Superlarks their biggest lead of the game at 46-38, but Rushford/Peterson would not go away as they took advantage of three straight misses by Grand Meadow at the front end of a one-to-one to cut the deficit to 46-43. A late free throw from guard Sydney Cotten gave the Larks a 47-43 lead with just under :15 seconds left in the game, and a layup from Trojan guard Ellie Ekern with 1.8 seconds left cut the Superlarks’ lead to 47-45. An immediate foul put Grand Meadow back at the free throw line, and after a miss, a desperation heave at the buzzer by the Trojans was well off the mark, giving the Superlarks the victory.
Foster scored 11 of her 15 points for Grand Meadow in the second half, plus she also played tough defense against Rushford/Peterson’s Kaylee Ruberg, a junior forward who went over 1,000 points earlier this season and led all scorers with 18 points. McKenna Hendrickson finished with 10 points, guard Kendyl Queensland tallied eight points in the win, Sydney Cotten chipped in seven points, Lauren Queensland tallied five points and center River Landers scored two points for the Superlarks, who registered their seventh win in a row and improved their record to 22-6 on the season with the win.
Grand Meadow will now face Southeast Conference West Division foe Kingsland, the No. 2 seed in the Section 1A semi-finals back at the Mayo Civic Auditorium at 6:30 p.m. Saturday evening. The Knights eliminated No. 7 seed Fillmore Central in the first game Tuesday night 66-54. The other Section 1A semi-final at 4:00 p.m. Saturday afternoon at the Mayo Civic Center Auditorium will pit top-seeded and unbeaten Hayfield against No. 4 seed Lanesboro. The Vikings rolled by No. 8 Houston Monday evening 67-29, while the Burros downed No. 5 Kenyon/Wanamingo 58-48.