The celebration of 100 years of state basketball tournaments continues with the announcement of the top shots in the history of the girls' state tourney. As with past and upcoming announcements of the best of 100 years of state basketball tournaments, these lists have been compiled with the assistance of a committee of basketball historians and experts from around Minnesota.
In the coming weeks, similar listings of the best games and best finishes in state tournament history will be announced. These announcements and other activities related to 100 years of state tourneys will lead into this year's tournaments; the girls will play at Williams Arena and Target Center March 14-17 and the boys will do the same March 21-24.
TOP GIRLS' FINISHES
|Benilde-St. Margaret's 41, Hill-Murray 38 -- 2010 Class AAA Final|
Benilde-St. Margaret's trailed Hill-Murray in the 2010 Class AAA final 38-34 inside of one minute, when the Red Knights scored the last seven points to steal the win. Josie Dillon hit a three off an Itisha Alexander feed to bring Benilde within 38-37. Alexander then stole the ensuing in-bounds pass and fed Dillon again for a lay-up and the lead. The Red Knights added a pair of free throws for a final score of 41-38.
|Lakeville 53, Woodbury 52 (OT) -- 2001 Class AAAA Quarterfinal|
Lakeville won consecutive Class AAAA titles in 2001 and 2002, but the Panthers were almost derailed by Woodbury both years. In 2002, Lakeville defeated the Royals 35-31 in the semifinal. But the 2001 quarterfinal was even closer. The Panthers led the Royals 35-18 midway through the third period, but Woodbury, playing in its fifth consecutive state tournament, battled back to take a 46-44 lead. Liz Podominick scored with 34 seconds remaining to send the game into overtime. Once again, Woodbury took the lead, this time 52-51 with 26 seconds remaining on two free throws by Chelle Marx. Podominick missed a pair of shots but tied up the rebound to maintain possession with just 2.2 seconds left. Podominick took the in-bounds pass from Katie Slater and hit a jumper in the lane to win it for Lakeville.
|Hastings 54, Osseo 52 -- 1996 Class AA Final|
Osseo was a prohibitive favorite to win the 1996 title and, indeed, Hastings missed their first 10 shots of the game and the first eleven of the second half, and trailed by nine at 2:37 of the third quarter. But Hastings stormed back, and a short jumper by 6-foot junior forward Erin Ditty gave Hastings a 53-51 lead inside of one minute. Osseo missed a tying free throw and a potential winning three-pointer as time wound down, and Hastings made a free throw for a final score of 54-52.
|Bloomington Kennedy 44, Hopkins 38 (OT) -- 2005 Class AAAA Final|
Hopkins 65, Bloomington Kennedy 48 -- 2006 Class AAAA Final
In 2005, Hopkins' Caitlin Rowland hit a three-pointer to force OT, but Kennedy scored the first nine points in OT to win the 2005 Class AAAA title. Kennedy came into the 2006 tournament at 28-1 and heavily favored, although Hopkins was a solid 27-2. Kennedy took a quick 20-10 lead, but by halftime Hopkins had closed to 27-24. A three-point play by Rowland with about eight minutes left to play finally put the Royals ahead 49-46, and from there it was all Hopkins.
|New Prague 64, Minneapolis North 62 -- 2000 Class AAA Final|
Randi Wirt blocked a Minneapolis North shot at the final buzzer to protect New Prague's 64-62 lead. Morgan Proshek had made two free throws at 0:07.9 for the final score of the game. North had led 11-0, and later led 13-10 when Wirt left the game just one minute into the second quarter with three fouls. The Polars quickly rebuilt their lead to 28-15 and then 38-25 at the half. The Trojans scored the first nine points of the second half, and caught up at 49-all on a Proshek field goal with 52 seconds left in the third quarter. The game was tied four times in the fourth quarter, the last time at 62-62 after a Mia Johnson baseline jumper for North.
OTHER NOTABLE SHOTS
New York Mills 40, Mayer Lutheran 39 -- 1977 Class A Final
Mayer Lutheran led New York Mills 28-20 in the third quarter when the Eagles went to full-court defensive pressure. It didn't create a lot of turnovers, but disrupted Mayer Lutheran's offense. As a result, New York Mills took their first lead of the game 37-35 with 4:20 remaining on a Tina Rutten basket. Cindy Balzum tied it up for the Crusaders. A Rutten three-point play with about one minute left gave Mills a 40-37 lead which withstood another Balzum hoop for the final score.
Albany 41, Edina 39 (OT) -- 1983 Class AA Final
Albany rallied from a 10-point deficit in the closing minutes of the 1983 Class AA final against Edina. Ann Wallenstein, who averaged but three points per game, scored twice from the left baseline to tie it up at 36-all with 1:38 to go in regulation. In overtime, with Albany trailing again 39-37, Carol Oehrlein made a three-point play at 0:07 to put the Huskies up by a point. She added a free throw at 0:01 for a final score of 41-39.
Little Falls 45, Burnsville 43 -- 1983 Class AA Final
Burnsville rallied to make a game of the 1983 Class AA final after Little Falls had enjoyed leads of 30-22, 35-24 and 38-30. Two Jennifer Hall free throws brought the Braves within 41-39. Four Deb Hilmerson free throws put the Flyers ahead 45-51 with time running out. Hall hit two more free throws at 0:14 for the final score.
Burnsville 59, St. Paul Harding 54 (OT) -- 1991 Class AA Final
St. Paul Harding had clobbered Burnsville 75-51 in a holiday tournament and was a prohibitive favorite going into the 1991 Class AA final. But Burnsville scored the last four points of regulation to force OT. The Braves' Sheila Roehl and Tiffany Trenkle made five free throws between them to win it 59-54 in overtime.
Tracy-Milroy 40, The Blake School 38 -- 1996 Class A Final
Nadine Brandt made a free throw for Tracy-Milroy with 0:04.9 remaining to give the Panthers a 40-38 lead over Blake in the Class A final. Blake quickly moved the ball down court where Kate Hervig launched a three-point shot. The shot fell well short, however, "because it was blocked," some said, by Tracy-Milroy's Sonja Kamrud, or "because she was fouled," according to opposing partisans. It was "a controversial end," according to newspaper reports.
Pipestone 50, Albany 49 -- 2007 Class AA Final
The 2007 Class AA final was nip and tuck all the way, but Albany led Pipestone 49-47 as the clock ticked down to the final seconds. Then the Arrows' Steph Kocourek drained what was called a three-point shot with 16 seconds left. The final score was 50-49, and it remained so even though replays clearly showed Kocourek's foot firmly planted on the three-point line when she let fly the winning shot.