It will be a long remembered season. Fillmore Central’s girls’basketball took on its first ever state tourney. But the ending will be more memorable for reasons not sporting. FC’s girls trekked to Minneapolis to play basketball. The Falcons (22-8) drew tournament 3-seed, #4 in state Henning (28-2). Before the teams even took the court, it was announced all consolation and third place games had been cancelled, and that any semifinal and championship games would take place with only essential people attending, because of the coronavirus. The NBA had already suspended its season. The Final Four also had announced the same “limited access” provision.
The game itself between FC and Henning was similar to the Falcons’ section title win over BP. The winner had one player hit a bunch of threes, which proved critical. In the first nine minutes, 17 total free throws were shot. There were four early ties (9, 13, 15, 17). Henning found a way to combat FC’s trapping 1-3-1 zone. The corner was left open and Megan Weber hit corner three’s. She did so on back-to-back possessions, breaking the last tie at 17, putting the Hornets up 23-17. Another triple fell later in the half. Henning finished the stanza on a 15-4 run to go to half up 32-21. Weber then opened the second half with a three. Henning scored on eight of its first nine possessions, building a 51-28 lead. FC actually dropped its 1-3-1 and went man-to-man for a spell. The Falcons plugged away despite the big deficit. Senior guard Kassidy Broadwater had her best game ever, scoring 22 points in the second half alone (15 of the team’s first 19). The Falcons got to down 57-44 with 3:38, then to down 63-54 with around a minute. The hole was too great. The clock ticked too fast. By the same score FC beat BP in the 1A final, Henning downed the Falcons 69-56.
The play of Henning’s Weber was critical. The 5’7” junior guard was highly efficient in scoring 29 points (6-10 threes, 8-13 FGs, 7-7 FTs). Top Hornet scored Ellie Dague did her big work at the free throw line (22 pts, 10-14 FTs, 7 rebs, 5 asts). Broadwater’s career-game (30 pts, 9-16 FGs, 4-5 threes, 8-12 FGs, 4 stls) paced FC. She was one of only two girls in 16 total quarterfinal games (all classes) to hit for 30 points. Kandace Sikkink helped (11 pts, 7-9 FTs, 11 rebs). Seven of her points came in the first 5:30. Henning shot 19 of 37 (51.4%) from the field to FC’s 16 of 52 (30.8%). The Hornets hit 8 of 16 threes (50%) to FC’s 5 of 16 (31.3%). Weber did to the Falcons what Hope Sexton and Lauren Mensink had done to BP. That duo struggled versus Henning (1-11 threes, 1-13 FGs).
Everyone not name Broadwater struggled for FC (6-32 FGs). Henning was 23 of 38 (60.5%) from the line, FC 19 of 27 (70.4%). The Hornets out-rebounded FC 34 to 24. Levi Olstad’s group had just nine defensive rebounds while the Hornets had 17 offensive rebounds. FC’s wonderful season finishes at 22-9. Multiple-year starters Sikkink, Broadwater, and Emma Breitsprecher are the three seniors. They’ll be a tough group to replace. And then, everything was cancelled, everything requiring the meeting of groups of people in masses greater than 10 (including both boys and girls state tourneys). Spring sports even hang in limbo due to the virus.