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Pequot Lakes defeats Hawley to earn a trip to Minnesota Class 2A state girls tournament

Hawley’s Jody Noreen drives on Pequot Lakes’ Kayla Miller during Friday’s Minnesota Class 2A, Section 8 championship game at Concorida. David Samson/Forum News Service2 / 2

MOORHEAD – Pequot Lakes senior Vanessa Lane said her mindset is to grab every rebound. The 5-foot-9 forward seemed to accomplish that Friday night at Memorial Auditorium.

Lane ripped down 20 rebounds to go along with her game-high 23 points. That monster effort helped spark the Patriots to an 81-64 victory against Hawley for the Minnesota Class 2A, Section 8 girls basketball championship.

“She was outstanding,” Hawley head coach Bill Gottenborg said of Lane, who is headed to South Dakota State on a track scholarship. “She is a tremendous athlete. You just don’t see that. All year long, you don’t go against competition like that.”

Pequot Lakes (23-6) earned its third trip to the state tournament in the past four seasons. Lane also played on the previous two state tournament teams when she was a freshman and sophomore.

“It’s huge,” Lane said. “Us (three) seniors, wanted it so bad. We had the extra drive and we really believed in each other out there.”

Hawley (21-7) had its 15-game winning streak snapped. The Nuggets were trying to make it back to state for the first time since 2010.

“I’m real thankful for the season the girls had,” Gottenborg said. “I am real proud of their season. I really appreciate the effort that they put in this year.”

Pequot Lakes had a two-point halftime lead but started to pull away early in the second half. The Patriots started second half with a 10-4 run. Lane capped that surge with a putback that gave Pequot Lakes a 48-40 lead with 14 minutes, 8 seconds remaining.

Moments later, Lane started a 12-3 run, scoring off a strong drive to the basket. Senior guard Katie White capped that rally with a 3-pointer that gave the Patriots a 62-47 lead with 10:22 to play. Pequot Lakes never saw its lead dip into single digits after that stretch.

“Defensively we just couldn’t stop them,” Gottenborg said. “They were so powerful. They got those inside drives on us, found the inside player and they just were so quick on the offensive boards. … We just couldn’t match their athleticism.”

Sophomore forward Mira Ellefson paced Hawley with 24 points and eight rebounds.

PEQUOT LAKES (23-6): Wiebolt 1 8-12 10, Lane 11 1-4 23, Buell 2 0-1 5, White 5 8-8 20, Miller 8 2-3 18, Ryan 2 0-4 4, Hart 0 0-0 0, Faacks 1 0-0 2. Totals 30 19-32 81.

HAWLEY (21-7): Noreen 4 4-6 14, Olson 7 0-0 17, Cederberg 0 0-0 0, Hovelson 1 1-2 3, Ellefson 9 6-7 24, Mattfeld 1 0-0 2, Laddusaw 0 2-3 2, Rasmussen 0 0-0 0, Rennecke 0 2-2 2. Totals 22 15-20 64.

Half: PL 38, HHS 36. 3-point goals: White 2, Noreen 2, Olson 3. Totals fouls: PL 17, HHS 24. Rebounds: PL 42 (Lane 20), HHS 20 (Ellefson 8). Turnovers: PL 7, HHS 10.

Eric Peterson
Peterson covers college athletics for The Forum, including Concordia College and Minnesota State Moorhead. He also covers the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks independent baseball team and helps out with North Dakota State football coverage. Peterson has been working at the newspaper since 1996.

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