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PREP GIRLS: Arrows to face Lakers today

Aaron Hagen/Daily Globe Pipestone Area's Brooke Woelber shoots during Friday night's Section 3AA finals in Montevideo.

PIPESTONE -- Nothing has been easy this year for the Pipestone Area Arrows.

And that won't change today in the first round of the Minnesota girls' state basketball tournament.

The Arrows, fresh off their 63-48 victory against Redwood Valley in Section 3A final, begin their quest for a state title at 8 p.m. today.

PA (21-5) will face Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted (27-3) at Williams Arena on the campus of the University of Minnesota, in Minneapolis.

The Arrows are making their fourth appearance at the state tournament, and won a championship in 2007.

Last season, PA fell short in its bid for a state berth, motivating this year's team.

While the Arrows had to watch the state tournament from home last year, the Lakers qualified for the first time in 2008.

HL-W-W suffered a 76-55 loss to Crookston in the first round last season.

This year, the Lakers might be even better.

HL-W-W set a school record with 27 wins, and has been led by senior Katie Pettit.

Pettit, who scored 18 points in last year's first-round game, leads the Lakers in scoring with a 17.7 per-game average.

Junior Ellie Wessling scores 16.9 points and grabs 8.6 rebounds per game.

Taylor Williams is the next leading scorer for the Lakers. She averages 6.5 points per contest.

For the Arrows, Bailey Bouman scores 17.1 points per game to lead PA, while Megan Vanderpoel, who is one of two seniors on the team, scores nearly 10 points per game and has a team-high 190 rebounds (7.3 per game).

Brooke Woelber scores 10.6 points per game, while Bree Woelber averages 8.6 points per game.

Bouman and Vanderpoel were each instrumental in PA's state championship run in 2007.

The winner of today's game will face either East Grand Forks or New London-Spicer at 8 p.m. Friday at Target Center.

The Class AA championship game is slated for Saturday afternoon, starting at 2 p.m.