SSC, MCC head to South semis
LUVERNE -- Southwest Star Concept and Murray County Central each won a Section 3A South girls' basketball quarterfinal game Monday night, advancing to tonight's semifinals.
Top-seeded SSC held off a late charge from No. 8 Southwest Christian to earn a 59-50 victory in the night's first game, while No. 5 MCC pulled away late in the nightcap to beat fourth-seeded Adrian, 78-62.
SSC (22-3) plays MCC (13-13) tonight in Windom at 6 p.m.
SSC 59, SWC 50
Going on a 15-2 run to start the second half, SSC took a 44-26 lead and looked to be well on its way to a victory over the young Eagles.
However, SWC (5-19) methodically chipped into the lead -- eventually pulling within four points (53-49) with 1:57 to play.
Kara Van Dyke (21 points, eight rebounds, three steals) and Brianna Spronk (14 points, 12 rebounds, five assists, three steals, two blocks) were the catalysts in that rally -- as they were the entire game for the Eagles.
But SSC closed the game out by hitting 6-of-7 free throws down the stretch, while SWC could only get a free throw from Amy Lubben -- sealing the Quasar victory.
"We had two nice surges -- one in each half -- to take control of the game a little bit," SSC head coach Les Knutson said. "We switched to a 2-1-2 zone in the second half, and that was a key. So was making our free throws late in the game."
The game started with nine lead changes as the inside duo of Van Dyke and Spronk fueled the Eagles to a 16-14 edge with 8:38 to go in the first half.
That's when SSC went on a 10-0 burst to go up 24-16 with 4:32 left as Linnea Henkels (16 points, eight assists, seven steals, three blocks) and Brooke DeWall (18 points, 10 rebounds, seven steals, three assists) each scored twice, and Adri Rasche (seven points, four steals) knocked down an 18-footer from the right wing to trigger the Quasars.
Jada Vander Veen hit a jumper in the lane with 13 seconds left to help the Eagles climb within five (29-24) at halftime.
The Quasars opened the second half by going on a 15-2 run as DeWall scored eight points in that stretch.
Whitney Pelzel later hit a 3-pointer to put the Quasars up 47-30 with 10:49 left, but SWC outscored them 20-12 the rest of the way."Our girls did a great job tonight," SWC head coach Cal Hoekstra said. "My assistant coach (Kevin Hoekstra) also did a fantastic job in helping us compete with a very good team tonight."
SWC 24 26 -- 50
SSC 29 30 -- 59
SWC (3FG-2FG-FT-TP): Lubben 1-1-1-6, De Kam 0-0-1-1, Prins 0-1-0-2, Ja. Vander Veen 0-3-0-6, Spronk 0-5-4-14, Van Dyke 0-8-5-21. Totals: 1-18-11-50.
SSC (3FG-2FG-FT-TP): Knutson 0-2-1-5, Rients 0-2-4-8, Henkels 0-6-4-16, DeWall 0-8-2-18, Pelzel 1-1-0-5, Rasche 0-2-3-7. Totals: 1-21-14-59.
MCC 78, Adrian 62
Sparked by clutch performances from freshman Emily Bose (23 points, 22 rebounds, five blocks) and senior Laura Beers (19 points, 11 assists), the Rebels built a 30-23 halftime lead before Adrian rallied back to within one (58-57) with 6:44 left.
However, the Rebels scored 14 of the next 19 points to go up 72-62 with 2:47 left. Adrian (16-9) didn't score another point after that, and MCC sealed the victory with two buckets from Bose, and a free throw each from Kasey Schreiber (16 points) and Brooke Manderscheid (15 rebounds, 10 points).
"Emily and Laura played their best games of the season tonight," MCC head coach Tom Pryor said. "We executed very well throughout the game."
MCC jumped out to a quick 8-2 lead as Caitlyn Petersen and Danielle Onken each scored, while Bose netted four early points.
Erica Thier was the playmaker for Adrian, scoring her team's first 12 points to give the Dragons their first -- and only -- lead at 12-11 with 10:21 left before halftime.
Schreiber scored four baskets in the final 10 minutes -- including a runner from the right elbow at the buzzer -- to key the Rebels to a 30-23 lead at the break.
Bose and Beers combined to score 28 second-half points -- 14 each -- and the Rebels opened up a 40-29 lead with 15:47 remaining.
However, Adrian's Sam Lynn -- who didn't score a point in the first half -- started lighting it up in the second half, as she scored 21 points to ignite the Dragons.
With Adrian trailing 56-51 with 7:12 left, Lynn drilled back-to-back 3-pointers to sandwich a hoop from Schreiber, and the Dragons were down by one (58-57) with 6:44 to go.
MCC, which outrebounded the Dragons 55-29, took control after that as Beers started the 14-5 run with a pull-up jumper in the lane, putting the Rebels up 72-62 with 2:47 left.
"We just got outplayed," Adrian head coach Randy Strand said. "Give MCC a lot of credit. They played a great game."
MCC 30 48 -- 78
Adrian 23 39 -- 62
MCC (3FG-2FG-FT-TP): Petersen 0-3-0-6, Beers 1-8-0-19, Onken 0-2-0-4, Manderscheid 0-3-4-10, Schreiber 0-7-2-16, Bose 0-9-5-23. Totals: 1-32-11-78.
Adrian (3FG-2FG-FT-TP): Er. Thier 1-6-5-20, Em. Thier 0-2-2-6, Tjepkes 0-1-0-2, N. Lynn 0-1-0-2, S. Lynn 3-5-2-21, Block 2-0-0-6, Weidert 0-0-1-1, Wiertsema 0-2-0-4. Totals: 6-17-10-62.