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Redwood powers past Windom for 3AA girls sub-section crown

Senior center Haley Garman scored 24 points and accomplished a career milestone Monday night as the Redwood Valley Cardinals defeated Windom Area 67-47 for the Sub-section 3AA girls basketball championship.

WINDOM -- Senior center Haley Garman scored 24 points and accomplished a career milestone Monday night as the Redwood Valley Cardinals defeated Windom Area 67-47 for the Sub-section 3AA girls basketball championship.

The game, pitting the top-seeded team in the south bracket, Windom Area, against the second-seeded Cards, might have been called a toss-up before the opening tip. The two teams split a pair of games during the regular season.

But on this night at Windom Area High School, Redwood Valley’s offense never took a rest, and neither did its defense. The Eagles simply missed too many shots and were unable to handle Garman inside. Despite a strong 21-point effort by Windom Area senior forward Delaney Smith, the WAHS offense was inconsistent. The team’s prolific senior guard, Allison Letcher, was held scoreless until she made a free throw with just 8:57 remaining in the second half. Letcher and dangerous long-range shooter Kait Huska finished with just five points each.

Meanwhile, Garman was a workhorse, scoring six first half points as her team led 27-24 at halftime, then scoring 18 more in the second half as the visitors outscored their Big South Conference rivals 40-23.

Along the way, Garman -- who is nearing 2,000 career points -- secured her 1,000th career rebound.

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“To be honest, I didn’t know I had it right away. I was notified last week I was closing in,” she said.

Garman was not a one-girl show. AJ Guggisberg converted five 3-point shots for 15 points, and Aubree Hicks made three of them in the first half and finished with 12. And Sydney Sommers, who played outstanding defense against Letcher, scored 10 points. All the Cardinals played well defensively.

“We just executed well on the little things. Every play on the court we do all the little things,” Garman said. “We also walk in with a chip on our shoulder. We’re used to being the underdogs. The last four years when I started on varsity, we didn’t look for a game. We earned respect for our game.”

The first half on Monday was a half of spurts. Redwood Valley led 6-0, Windom Area tied it 10-10 on Smith’s eighth point, then took a 13-10 lead on a Smith shot and free throw. It became 15-10 on a Huska driving layup, but the Cardinals rallied after a short time-out, outscoring WAHS 17-9 on the way to intermission.

Quickly in the second half, the Cardinals took over. With less than 12 minutes to play the score was 43-26 in the Cards’ favor. As Windom Area continued to miss far too many shots to forge a comeback, the Cardinals stretched their lead further.

“They executed a great game plan, and they took away a lot of the things we had all season,” said Windom Area head coach Jacob Johnson. “They played a real good defensive game. And for us, it was like there was a lid on the basket.”

Redwood Valley advances to play the Sub-section 3AA north champion on Thursday against New London-Spicer in Montevideo.

Redwood Valley 27 67

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Windom Area 24 47

REDWOOD VALLEY (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) -- Guggisberg 5-0-0-15, Hicks 3-1-1-12, Sommers 1-2-3-10, Garman 0-12-2-24, Schjenken 0-2-0-4. Totals 9-17-6-67.

WINDOM AREA (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) -- Sammons 1-0-0-3, Bucher 0-2-0-4, Letcher 0-2-1-5, Wormstadt 1-3-0-9, Huska 1-1-0-5, Smith 0-9-3-21. Totals 3-17-4-47.

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