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PREP GIRLS BASKETBALL / CLASS A QUARTERFINALS / GOODHUE 50, MIB 48 MINNEAPOLIS — After Allie Negen's 3-pointer with 17 seconds remaining ignited Mountain Iron-Buhl's crowd into a frenzy, the Rangers got the ball back not once but twice with opportunities to take the lead Thursday in their Class A girls basketball state quarterfinal with Goodhue. Rather than sit back, Goodhue's defense was ultra aggressive in the closing seconds as the Wildcats had fouls to give.
The Minnesota Duluth women's basketball team has won six straight, capped by the Bulldogs' first NSIC tournament title since 2004, so how were they rewarded? A rematch with NSIC tournament runner-up Minnesota State-Moorhead in the NCAA Division II tournament. The teams will meet for a fourth time this season when the fourth-seeded Bulldogs (23-6) take on the fifth-seeded Dragons (26-6) in the Central Region tournament opener at 7:30 p.m. today at Gross Memorial Coliseum in Hays, Kan. Top-seeded Fort Hays State is the host.
MINNEAPOLIS — Lexie Lodermeier led a balanced effort with 11 points, and Goodhue held on to defeat Mountain Iron-Buhl 50-48 today in the Minnesota Class A girls basketball quarterfinals at Maturi Pavilion. Allie Negen, one of four MIB senior starters playing in her sixth straight state tournament, led the Rangers with 15 points. Negen drained a 3-pointer to pull MIB to within a point at 49-48 with 17.1 seconds remaining. Twice the Rangers got the ball back in the closing seconds but failed to get off a decent shot.
PREP GIRLS BASKETBALL / CLASS AA SEMIFINALS / CALEDONIA 56, PROCTOR 44 MINNEAPOLIS — Proctor girls basketball coach Matt Solberg brought his team down to the state basketball tournament on Wednesday morning. Proctor first watched Hibbing play in the Class AAA quarterfinals at Maturi Pavilion before going next door to Williams Arena. It wasn't just an opportunity for the Rails to buy state tournament sweatshirts and hats, but do get a feel for the "Barn," with its distinctive raised floor. It didn't matter.
MOUNTAIN IRON-BUHL (25-5) VS. GOODHUE (24-6) What: Class A state tournament quarterfinal When: 3 p.m. Where: Maturi Pavilion, Minneapolis
PREP GIRLS BASKETBALL / STATE PREVIEW Proctor High School has a tradition when a team makes it to a state tournament, the players and coaches visit each elementary school before making their way to the high school for a send off. The Proctor girls basketball team enjoyed such an experience Tuesday.
HIBBING (27-2) VS. DELASALLE (21-5) What: Class AAA state tournament quarterfinal When: 10 a.m. Where: Maturi Pavilion, Minneapolis
COLLEGE SPOTLIGHT / WOMEN'S BASKETBALL Minnesota Duluth point guard Sammy Kozlowski paused after being asked what she enjoyed most on the basketball court, scoring a basket, assisting on one or making a steal. For Kozlowski, there was a little internal debate, not about scoring — that was never even considered — but about the other two. For Kozlowski, ideally, it would be a steal leading to an assist. "But if I had to pick one, I'd probably say an assist," she said. Oh, if every team had a Sammy Kozlowski.
Sam Pogatchnik said ever since she first walked into the Proctor High School gym and saw the the state tournament banners hanging from the wall she wanted to be part of one of them. Now, she gets her chance. Pogatchnik scored 21 points and the Rails used a suffocating defense to down Duluth Marshall 62-46 in the Section 7AA girls basketball championship Friday night before an estimated 1,500 at Romano Gym.
Longtime Mountain Iron-Buhl coach Jeff Buffetta was asked how often the Rangers played a triangle-and-two defense. "Never," Buffetta said, flatly. Well, they did on Thursday, and with championship results. Senior guard Macy Savela scored 19 points and MIB held Cromwell-Wright to a season-low for points as the Rangers captured their ninth straight Section 7A title with a 50-31 victory before an estimated 1,300 at Romano Gym.