Lanesboro (4-seed, 21-6) led Kingsland (5-seed, 21-5) 34-19 at halftime, but had to hold back a Knight surge to ensure victory. The Burros used 6’0” senior post Kaci Ruen (15 first half points) to get out to their big lead. The Knights went 0 of 14 from the field at one point, finishing the half making just 4 of its last 28 field goals. But Kingsland rallied early in the second, getting a trio of Ryley Guy threes. The Burros began the stanza 0 of 8 shooting. Guy’s last trifecta had the Knights down 36-35. Kingsland also got within two four times but never tied or led. Lanesboro’s Jessie Schreiber made sure of it. The 5’11” forward is not known for her deep shooting. She hit four against Southland in a Round of 16, but four more versus Kingsland. Three came in the final 8:06. With deep balls, she twice extended Burros lead to six, and once extended the edge to five. That three came with 1:34 left, making it 50-45. It immediately followed a Katelyn Hauser transition basket that got Kingsland to within two (47-45) for a last time (2:06). Schreiber stepped up, as Ruen sat the final six or so minutes with an injured hand. Schreiber then hit 3 of 4 free throws in the final 1:02 to make it 53-47. Lanesboro moved on to its second straight 1A semi via a 55-49 win. Schreiber (18 pts, 4-9 threes, 6 rebs, 3 asts, 3 stls, 3 blks) led the way. Ruen (18 pts, 5-9 FGs, 8-12 FTs, 8 rebs) and Jensyn Storhoff (13 pts, 9 rebs, 4 asts) gave the Burros a three-headed attack. Kingsland was led by senior Anika Reiland (12 pts, 16 rebs, 5 asts, 3 stls), whose five-year career spanned Knight teams that went 16-10, 18-10, 17-3, 19-9, and 21-6. Guy (team-high 15 pts, 3-7 threes) hit all her triples in the second half. Hauser added 9 points. Lanesboro shot 17 of 53 (32%), Kingsland 20 of 70 (29%). The teams combined for 38 offensive rebounds (K 25, L 13). Reiland had 10. But the Knights won second-chance-points only 13 to 12. The Burros won the free throw line 16 of 28 (57%) to 5 of 11 (46%). The teams split two regular season meetings. Kingsland finishes at 21-6, their most wins since 2007-2008. It is their fifth straight 16-plus win season.
The Burros (4-seed, 22-6) moved on to face #4 Hayfield (1-seed 26-3) in the 1A semis. The news was not good in the lead-up. Ruen’s hand was broken and she could not play. For a half, the Burros hung around though. After trailing 23-12, they ended the first 9-0 to trail 23-21 at intermission. Hayfield starters Natalie Beaver and Chelsea Christopherson had three fouls. Lanesboro defense was pesky and they were in it despite 16 turnovers. But the second half saw the two-time defending 1A champs score 22 of the first 27 points to lead 45-26. Their pressure forced 30 Burro turnovers. For the second straight year, Hayfield ended Lanesboro’s season. The final was 63-35. Schreiber (15 pts, 6 rebs, 3 blks) and Storhoff (11 pts) led the Burros. Skyler Check chipped in 7 points. Multi-year starters Kristen Watson (17 pts, 5 asts, 6 stls), Beaver (13 pts, 6 rebs), and Christopherson (10 pts, 8 rebs) led Hayfield. Due to the turnovers, the Vikings (25 of 61 > 41%) took way more shots than Lanesboro (13 or 32 > 41%). The Burros second straight SEC-East champion, section final four participant season ends at 22-7. They 22 wins is the most in over a decade. The 22 wins is their most since likely 2000 (22-2). Ruen, Schreiber, and Check are their three seniors.
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