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Roseau completes perfect season with state championship

Sauk Centre's Tori Peschel (21) and Roseau's May Hough (52) battle for a loose ball during the second half of Saturday's Class AA title game in Minneapolis. Roseau beat Sauk Centre 75-64. David Joles/StarTribune girls' basketball state tournament 1 / 3
Roseau players, including Victoria Johnson (10), Ivy Braaten (21), and May Hough (52) begin to celebrate at the end of their 75-64 victory over Sauk Centre during Saturday's Class AA title game in Minneapolis on Saturday. David Joles/StarTribune.2 / 3
Roseau's Kiley Borowicz, middle, tries to dribble through Sauk Centre defenders Tori Peschel (21) and Alyssa Cohorts (33) during the first half of Saturday's Class AA title game in Minneapolis. David Joles/StarTribune3 / 3

MINNEAPOLIS—Senior Kiley Borowicz didn't watch the final few seconds tick off the clock Saturday afternoon.

She stood on the bench, pulling a younger sister in close each arm and tears streaming down her face.

"I was just thinking about how we're done playing together," Kiley said. "Our journey ever since third grade is over."

That journey had a perfect ending.

The Roseau girls basketball team finished off a 32-0 season with a 75-64 win over Sauk Centre in the Minnesota Class AA state high school championship game in Williams Arena.

The Rams won the program's first state title—and the school's first overall in a decade—using a familiar recipe.

Roseau forced turnovers with a full-court press, ran the floor and yet another opponent had no answers for the three Borowicz sisters.

Kiley scored a game-high 20 points in her final prep game. Kacie, a sophomore, had 19 points. Katie, an eighth-grader, had nine to finish off their dream season.

"The whole season, I knew I had one season left with both of them together," Kacie said. "I knew we were never going to have this team again. I think about it all the time, even in practice. If I fought with Kiley—when I fought with Kiley—I would feel bad afterwards because I won't get that day back."

Only one opponent stayed within 10 points of Roseau all season—and that was back in December. Most of the games—including the three at the state tournament—were lopsided.

The Rams captured the attention of a town normally known for embracing hockey.

Attendance grew throughout the season. They even opened up the Roso Theater for both the semifinal and championship games for the fans who didn't make the trip to the Twin Cities. About 300 people showed up Saturday to watch the game on the big screen.

"We knew the whole town was rooting for us back home," Kiley said, "even the hockey boys."

Roseau coach Kelsey Didrikson said she knew before the season started that her team had the potential to go undefeated and win a state championship.

So, Didrikson and her players weren't worried when the Rams fell behind a 31-1 Sauk Centre team 13-3 to start Saturday's title game.

Roseau had been slow starters for much of the season.

"We really feel like we're a tough team to play with for a 36-minute game," Didrikson said.

Kacie jump-started the Rams with a 3-pointer. Then, they forced turnovers and ran the court during a 24-6 run that put Roseau in charge for good.

"That's certainly something that scared the heck out of me," Sauk Centre coach Scott Bergman said of Roseau's ability to go on runs. "They make you play faster than you're used to playing.

"Sometimes, you get beat by a better team. They're better."

Although the Borowicz sisters combined for 48 of the team's 75 points, Roseau's depth also played a factor.

Roseau's bench outscored Sauk Centre's 22-0, led by Kaitlyn Hulst's three 3-pointers.

"I'm not sure what No. 42's name is," Bergman said of Hulst. "But she came in and hit an awful lot of shots."

Roseau became just the third Class AA team to finish a perfect season in the four-class era, which began in 1997. The others were Caledonia in 2009 and New Richland-H-E-G in 2014.

"I knew what we could do," said Kiley, who finished her career fourth all-time in state tournament points. "I knew we were the best team. I wished we would play like it and we did. If we would have lost that game, we never would have forgotten about it."

Brad Elliott Schlossman

Schlossman is in his 13th year covering college hockey for the Herald. In 2016, he was named the top beat writer in the country by the Associated Press Sports Editors. He has voted in the national college hockey poll since 2007 and has served as a member of the Hobey Baker and Patty Kazmaier Award committees.

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