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MN WEST: Lady Jays clinch playoff berth with 64-44 win

BRAINERD -- The Minnesota West womens' basketball team clinched a Region 13A playoff berth with its win over Central Lakes Saturday.

The Lady Jays (17-8, 6-4 Southern Division) scored 24 consecutive points in the second half on their way to a 64-44 rout of Central Lakes.

And now, with a playoff spot clinched, the Lady Jays know their season will extend at least slightly past the end of the regular season this week.

"It's always our goal to get in the playoffs," MW head coach Mike Fury said. "We need to finish up this last week and then we can focus on the post season. We're off the road now so we hope we can finish the season up well at home. We've been playing really well, so hopefully we can keep that up. We're excited to have a spot in the post season. We're happy."

MW went into halftime with a nine point lead (29-20). But the Lady Jays rolled in the second half.

The score was 31-25 in favor of MW with 17:40 left to play. But the Lady Jays went on a 24-0 run over the next eight minutes to extend their lead to 55-25.

"We had a better transition game in the second half, so that was probably a key difference," Fury said. "We like to think it was our defense that shut them out that half, but in reality it was probably partly because they weren't shooting well either. It was a really nice second half for us."

The Lady Jays were led by Kayla Schroeder's 15 points -- all of which were scored in the second half. Schroeder and teammate Brittany Hulstein sat most of the first half after getting into early foul trouble.

Hulstein added 13 points, Alyson Drooger had 11 points and three assists, Katie Hadler had 10 points and eight rebounds and Katey Granstra had seven points, nine rebounds and four blocks for MW.

The Lady Jays' next game is Wednesday against Rochester.

MW 29 35 -- 64

CL 20 14 -- 44

MW (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) Koehl 0-2-3-7, Kazemba 0-0-1-1, Drooger 2-1-3-11, Hadler 0-5-0-10, Hulstein 2-3-1-13, Schroeder 3-1-4-15, Granstra 0-3-1-7. Total 7-15-13-64.

CL (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) Roos 0-0-3-3, Robinson 3-0-2-11, Johnson 0-1-1-3, Peterson 0-3-8-14, Mattson 0-2-1-5, Weber 0-1-0-2, Lamb 0-2-2-6. Total 3-9-17-44.