Wave rally to advance
With the 3-pointers not finding the basket, East Grand Forks Senior High shifted its strategy to the 3-footers Thursday night.
The Green Wave pounded the inside down the stretch, rallying past visiting Crookston 53-48 in the first round of the Section 8AA girls basketball playoffs.
Crookston took its final lead when Emma Borowicz hit a 3-pointer from the wing with 6:25 remaining for a 43-41 advantage. Senior High answered with a 10-0 run. All the points came from either close-range baskets or free throws while fouled around the basket.
That inside game offset a 3-for-18 night on 3-point shots for the Wave.
"We're a better shooting team than that,'' Senior High coach Jay Frydenlund said.
"We definitely were going inside (at the end). We got the ball to the post and our high-low game started to work. It was by design. We'd been settling for the perimeter shots all night. We don't live and die by the 3-pointer.''
A 3-point play by Brooke Filipi off a Julia Warmack pass gave the Wave the lead at 44-43 and started the run. Warmack hit a pair of free throws, then Breanna Olson and Macy Skyberg scored from close range.
"Breanna made a big one,'' Frydenlund said. "She attacked the basket when they were starting to sag inside on our big kids.''
Crookston, meanwhile, went scoreless for 6:01 before scoring five quick points in the final 24 seconds. But Filipi clinched the win when she hit a free throw, then intercepted a pass, was fouled and hit another free throw.
The Pirates' offense struggled in the final minutes after accounting for half of their points with eight 3-point baskets.
"As the season's gone along, that (3-pointer) is the shot we've looked for. And we've been pretty consistent hitting them,'' Crookston coach Darin Zimmerman said. "We were happy with the way we shot. We had some good shots at the end that we didn't convert. We were making those earlier in the game.''
Frydenlund said the Wave did a better job of contesting Crookston's perimeter shots at the end of the game. "We cranked up the defense. We started putting pressure on their guards,'' Frydenlund said.
Filipi finished with 16 points while Skyberg had nine points to go with 10 rebounds for the 21-5 Wave.
Borowicz had 14 points and Bailey Folkers 13 to lead the Pirates, who closed at 13-14.