Hawley tops Breckenridge in double OT for subsection title
MOORHEAD – Hawley junior guard Brittany Laddusaw had her 3-point license taken away from head coach Bill Gottenborg in recent weeks.
“She was on red alert,” Gottenborg said. “No 3s. I was trying to get her confidence back with closer shots.”
Before Tuesday’s game against Breckenridge, which would decide which team would face Pequot Lakes in the Minnesota Class 2A, Section 8 girls basketball title game, Gottenborg gave Laddusaw her 3-point license back.
And Laddusaw drove with it.
She hit four 3-pointers, including the game-winner with 1.8 seconds remaining in double overtime, to give Hawley a 61-58 win, a sub-section title at Memorial Auditorium and put the Nuggets one win away from a trip to the state tournament.
“That was crazy,” said Laddusaw, who scored all 14 of her points after halftime. “I didn’t think I could do it. I was off limits, but I just got my
3-point license back on the bus ride here. It’s nice to have it back.”
As the buzzer was about to sound at the end of regulation, Hawley’s Mira Ellefson drove to the net and kicked it out to a wide-open Laddusaw in the corner. Laddusaw missed the shot and the game headed to overtime tied at 44.
With 13.2 seconds to go in double overtime, Hawley ran the exact same play, but this time Laddusaw took a few dribbles to her left and sank the dagger. She blames her height for why she made the move out of the corner, but there was no one standing taller on Tuesday than Laddusaw.
“I thought, ‘Oh, I’m short. I’m going to get blocked. This is going to happen,’” Laddusaw said. “So I tried to get a better angle at it. I’ve seen so many game-winners. I saw (Gottenborg’s daughter) Kaitlynn Gottenborg hit a winner at state, and I’ve dreamed about hitting one ever since. It definitely lived up to its expectations.”
The biggest lead of the entire game was six points, which Hawley had at 42-36 when Laddusaw buried a 3-pointer. Breckenridge answered with an 8-2 run and Kennedy Conzemius’ layup with 1 minute, 38 seconds to go tied it.
The Nuggets held the ball for the final possession, but Laddusaw missed her first chance at playing the hero. The first overtime continued the boxing match, as both teams went blow for blow.
“Everybody stepped up and we knew that we could,” said Ellefson, who finished with 19 points for Hawley. “A lot of people stepped up to the plate. Brittany Laddusaw had a tremendous game.”
Jody Noreen opened the first overtime with a 3-pointer for Hawley. Breckenridge responded with an Ally Christensen 3-pointer. Ellefson buried two free throws for the Nuggets and Christensen came back with two free throws for the Cowgirls.
Morgan LeNoue put the Cowgirls up 53-52 with 55.3 seconds remaining, but Hawley’s Karyssa Hovelson split two free throws to tie it and the Cowgirls missed a jumper at the end of the first overtime to send it into a second. Laddusaw opened the second overtime with a 3-pointer, but it’ll be the one she closed it with that she’ll remember forever.
Or maybe not.
“I don’t even know what happened,” Laddusaw said.
Perhaps there was a young girl in the crowd on Tuesday, who will always remind Laddusaw of the night she helped her dream of someday hitting a game winner of her own.
Hawley will play Pequot Lakes on Friday at 7 p.m. at Memorial Auditorium.
H (21-6): Olson 4 1-2 12, Ellefson 8 3-7 19, Hovelson 3 6-10 12, Mattfeld 1 0-2 2, Laddusaw 5 0-1 14, Noreen 1 0-0 3. 22 10-22 61.
B (14-11): Dahlgren 5 1-2 11, Christensen 2 4-4 9, Conzemius 4 4-6 12, Beyer 3 0-0 7, Fredericksen 2 1-2 5,
M LeNoue 3 2-5 8, K. LeNoue 0 4-4 4, Engen 1 0-0 2. Totals 20 16-23 58.
Halftime: B 26, H 25. 3-pointers: Olson 3, Noreen 1, Laddusaw 4, Beyer 1, Christensen 1 Total fouls: H 18, B 15. Rebounds: H 20 (Hovelson 10), B 31 (Frederickson 6).