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Friday's prep girls basketball playoff game: Proctor vs. Mesabi East


What: Section 7AA championship

When: 7 p.m.

Where: Romano Gym

Outlook: Both teams are vying for their third trip to the state tournament, with Proctor last going in 2001 and Mesabi East in 1998, so it's been awhile. Neither team was ranked in the final regular-season state poll. These clubs met Jan. 19 in Proctor, with the Rails prevailing 66-54. Proctor has won seven straight and 15 of its past 16, while Mesabi East has won three straight. ... Top-seeded Proctor advanced with a 62-43 victory over Pequot Lakes on Wednesday as Eve Turner scored 22 points, while Sam Parendo added 12 points and Sam Pogatchnik chipped in 11. Leading 26-21 at the half, Proctor pulled away by outscoring the Patriots 36-22 the rest of the way. Parendo, a sophomore guard, leads the team with 17 points and four assists per game. The scariest aspect with the Rails is their youth, with no seniors on the roster. ... Third-seeded Mesabi East rallied for a 65-55 victory over Esko on Wednesday as sophomore guard Ava Hill scored 26 points and freshman guard Hannah Hannuksela added 18. The Giants hit ten 3-pointers. Hill is one of the Northland's top athletes, having won the Class A 800 meters at last June's state track meet as a freshman. She leads the Giants with about 22 points and 3.5 steals per game while shooting 37 percent from beyond the arc. Youth will be served today at Romano in that Mesabi East is much like Proctor, with only two seniors on the the Giants' roster.

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