The second-seeded Pequot Lakes Patriots girls’ basketball team defeated No. 3 Crosby-Ironton 55-42 in the Northeast Subsection 8AA semifinals on Saturday, March 2, at Bemidji State University.
The Patriots, 19-9 overall, advanced to play top-seeded Crookston in the subsection final on Tuesday, March 5. That winner will play in the Section 8AA title game on Friday, March 8, at Bemidji State University. Wadena-Deer Creek was scheduled to play Pelican Rapids in the Southwest championship game on Tuesday, March 5.
Beating C-I was an admirable accomplishment for Pequot Lakes since the Mid-State Conference opponents split their two games during the regular season. The difference in Saturday’s playoff game was the Patriots’ defense shutting down C-I’s Chelsey Bonsante, who scored 29 points against Pequot Lakes in a home game last month.
“Tonight Bonsante had just one basket in the first half, and two early in the second half as Kayla Miller did an outstanding job defensively on her,” said Pequot Lakes coach Jon Dale, who added that another C-I starter, Sahnnon Lundgren, didn’t even score.
The Patriots were led in scoring by Katie White with 16 points, Miller with 14, Vanessa Lane 11, Jessica Kreitz eight and Haley Wiebolt six. Lane also had 13 rebounds.
“Katie (White) did hit some big 3-pointers for us,” said Coach Dale, whose team made 13 of 22 free throws. “We did hit eight of our last 11 attempts.”
Pequot Lakes assumed an early 7-2 lead on baskets by Lane and Miller, who surpassed the 1,000-career point mark in a subsection win over Roseau on Thursday, Feb. 28.
The Patriots were ahead 14-9 seven minutes into the game after Kreitz drained a 3-point shot. C-I eventually rallied for a 17-16 advantage, which was their only lead of the afternoon.
Pequot Lakes then closed out the first half by scoring the final 10 points, and keeping the Rangers from scoring. The Patriots were ahead 26-17 at intermission as Miller swished a 3-point shot at the buzzer.
Pequot Lakes did turn the ball over on four straight possessions to start the second half while Bonsante made a pair of jumpers to cut the deficit to five points. But the Patriots regained a large lead on three baskets by Lane and a 3-point basket by White. C-I cut the deficit to 35-29 before White drained her fourth 3-point shot with 10:15 left.
The Rangers needed to foul to get back into the game. In the final three minutes, Wiebolt and White were each 4-for-4 from the line to seal the win.
Meredith Silgren had 16 points to lead C-I, which finishes 13-15 overall.
Pequot Lakes 26 29 — 55
Crosby-Ironton 17 25 — 42
Haley Wiebolt 6, Vanessa Lane 11, Katie White 16, Kayla Miller 14, Jessica Kreitz 8. FG 19-41 (46 percent), FT 13-22 (59 percent). 3-point 4-6 (66 percent).
Lauren Peterson 5, Chelsey Bonsante 6, Hallie Schmidt 7, Bailey Swensen 8, Meredith Silgen 16. FT 4-10 (40 percent).
Patriots 93, Roseau 80
Kayla Miller became the 15th girl in school history to surpass 1,000 career points with a second-half basket to help Pequot Lakes advance past No. 7 Roseau in the subsection quarterfinals on Thursday, Feb. 28.
Miller, a junior who needed 16 points to reach the milestone going into the game, finished with 23 points.
“It was nice to see Kayla make her 1,000th point,” said Coach Dale. “We did well offensively, but we didn’t play well on the defensive side of things.”
The high-scoring tone was set early as Wiebolt drained a 3-point basket in the first five seconds. Wiebolt was starting as a freshmen, but she wasn’t the youngest player on the court as the Rams’ eighth-grader Kiley Borowiez was a problem for the Patriots all night as she scored 25 points. Borowiez made a 3-point shot to give the Rams an early 12-7 lead.
Pequot Lakes eventually came back to tie it 16-16 on a three-point play by Kreitz. Roseau then grabbed a 19-18 advantage, but that would be their final lead of the game. The Rams did stay within striking distance, but they trailed 53-48 at the half.
Borowiez later made a pair of rebound baskets, but Roseau still trailed 55-44. Miller then scored on a layup and added a 17-foot jumper with 13:52 remaining to reach the 1,000-point mark. The Patriots continued to lead, but the Rams would not go away. Roseau cut the deficit to 73-65 with 6:20 left, but White sank a 3-pointer for a 11-point lead, and Pequot Lakes held on in the final minutes.
Lane led the Patriots with 25 points and 12 rebounds. White scored 15 and Kreitz added 13.
In the other Northeast playoff games, C-I beat Park Rapids 62-47, Warroad outsted Bagley 56-21 and Crookston received a bye.
Roseau 38 42 — 80
Pequot Lakes 53 40 — 93
Amelia Johnson 9, Breanna Hebel 8, Alexis Melby 8, Bethany Erickson 16, Rachel Lindemann 8, Kiley Borowicz 25, Kaitlyn Christianson 6. FT 15-26 (58 percent).
Haley Wiebolt 7, Brittny Bzdok 6, Vanessa Lane 25, Katie White 15, Kayla Miller 23, Abby Palmer 4, Jessica Kreitz 13. FG 38-72 (53 percent), FT 14-23 (61 percent). 3-point 3-6 (50 percent).