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Girls' basketball tourney: Eastview wins its first title in Class 4A

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Champions were crowned Saturday in the Minnesota girls state high school basketball tournament at Williams Arena.

Class 4A: Eastview 64, Bloomington Kennedy 61

Eastview avenged its only loss this season by defeating Bloomington Kennedy 64-61 Saturday night to win its first-ever girls’ basketball state championship after runner-up finishes in 2000 and 2003. Melissa Guebert is the first woman to coach a big-school champion since the tournament added Class 4A in 1997, the Star Tribune reports.

The Eagles led almost the entire game, and had a 61-54 lead with just more than two minutes remaining. But top-ranked and top-seeded Eastview scored 10 unanswered points.

Junior point guard Madi Guebert gave the Lightning the lead for good with a layup with 30 seconds remaining, and Kari Opatz made two free throws with 18.2 seconds left to give Eastview the victory, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.

Guebert, the coach's daughter and one of the top-ranked juniors in Minnesota, finished with 29 points. Opatz had 13 points and Hana Metoxen scored 11 for the Lightning.

Kenisha Bell scored 24 points for Kennedy, and Isieoma Odor and Lasha Wright-Ponder each scored 11.

Both teams are members of the South Suburban Conference, and they split two conference games this season. Bloomington Kennedy won the last meeting 73-60 on Feb. 14, which was Eastview's only loss of the season.

Saturday's victory improved Eastview's record against Bloomington Kennedy to 4-5 over the past three seasons.

Class 3A: Park Center 73, Marshall 71 (3OT)

Park Center won its first ever state championship Saturday night with a 73-71 win over Marshall. It took three overtimes to get there, and Park Center had to play the extra periods without its star center, Cayla McMorris who fouled out in the final seconds of regulation, the Star Tribune reports.

Ann Simonet scored 26 points and McMorris finished with 21 points for the Pirates (26-5).

Kenzie Beekman led Marshall (30-2) with 20 points.

Marshall led by nine points with 5 minutes to go in regulation, but a 15-8 run got the Pirates within 60-58 with 24.4 seconds left and Danielle Schaub scored at the buzzer, the Associated Press reports.

Class 2A: New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva 71, Kenyon-Wanamingo 61

No. 1-ranked New Richland-H-E-G won its second consecutive girls basketball title in Class 2A Saturday, defeating Kenyon-Wanamingo 71-61.

The Panthers (31-0) had a 20-3 run in the first half, the Star Tribune reports, and had a comfortable cushion during most of the game. New Richland-H-E-G has a 61-game winning streak going, starting last season when they also won the state title.

Scoring sensation Carlie Wagner led her team with a game-high 36 points. Wagner broke a high school tournament record by scoring 53 points in the Panthers’ 100-68 quarterfinal victory over Pequot Lakes earlier in the week.

Class 1A: Win-E-Mac 61, Minneota 53

A Cinderella team has won the Class 1A high school girls basketball championship. Unseeded Win-E-Mac knocked off top-seed Minneota 61-53 at Williams Arena Saturday afternoon, ending the Vikings' hopes for a second straight title, the Star Tribune reports.

Win-E-Mac had a 15-point lead at one point in the second half, but Minneota went on a scoring streak and closed to within two points, 52-50, with five minutes left in the game. The Patriots went on a 9-0 run to put the game away.

Maddie McKeever scored 27 points and Korbyn Ross added 17 for Win-E-Mac. Taylor Reiss scored 18 points and Emily Stienessen had 17 for Minneota.

The Patriots finished the season 28-2. The team felt slighted that they weren't seeded in this year's tournament, despite the fact that they finished fourth at last year's state tournament and had most of their players return this season.

That slight fueled the team throughout this Cinderella run, the Pioneer Press reports.

"We've had a little bit of a chip on our shoulder because of that," Win-E-Mac coach Ian Hanson said. "We thought we were a title contender and the fact that we didn't get seeded ... is motivation to play harder."

That motivation paid off with a state championship.

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