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Maple Grove Voice

Crimson Girls Fall to No. 4 STMA in Overtime

Dec 29, 2015 10:17PM ● By Doug Erlien
Faced with a rugged early schedule, the Maple Grove Senior High School girls basketball team lost their opening game of the STMA holiday tournament St. Michael-Albertville Knights 61-58 in overtime.

After both teams struggled early, the Knights forced Crimson turnovers and built a double digit first half lead. With STMA leading 32-22, it appeared as though the young Crimson weren’t quite ready for the prime time lights, but a 7-3 run over the final two minutes cut the Knights lead to six at 35-29.

“We had every opportunity to lay down and get rolled over early but our kids fought hard,” Crimson Head Coach Mark Cook said. “Our kids responded to every one of their runs.”

The second half was a different story. The Crimson opened the second half on a 4-0 run to cut the lead to two points. The Knights lead would fluctuate between two and four points for the majority of the half until Rae Johnson stole the ball and scored in transition giving STMA a 60-54 lead with two minutes to play.

On the next Crimson possession, sophomore Lauryn Moline hit a huge three pointer from the right side cutting the lead in half. Trailing by three points with 31 seconds left in the game, Mackenzie Barta made two free throws to make it a one point game. After a missed Knights free throw, the Crimson took the lead with seven seconds remaining when Maddie Tharp drove baseline and finished giving Maple Grove the lead.

The Knights Rae Johnson who finished with a game high 31 points tied the game at the free throw line sending the game to overtime.

In overtime, the teams exchanged leads and the Knights came away with a three point win.

“We just showed that we can play with anyone,” Cook said. “Now we just need to keep working hard and keep improving every day.”

Maple Grove (4-4) will face Edina in day two of the STMA holiday tournament Wednesday afternoon.

Box Score:
Maple Grove:
Autumn Mlinar 11; Mackenzie Barta 21; Maddie Tharp 10; Kylie Binstock 3; Sarah Liimatta 9; Lauryn Moline 3; Allie Schmidt 8

Rae Johnson 31; Lizzy Heil 5; Kitri Zezza 8; Sydney Tracy 25; Addie Johnson 2

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