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East Grand Forks knocks off DGF in section girls basketball

Grace Steichen, right, of Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton, battles for a rebound against Macy Skyberg of East Grand Forks during their Class 2A, Section 8 tournament semifinals game Tuesday, March 6, 2018, at Concordia, Moorhead. Darren Gibbins / The Forum

MOORHEAD—It happens at basketball tournament time. Those smooth-flowing plays during the regular season sometimes have a different feel in the spacious confines of Memorial Auditorium on the Concordia College campus.

East Grand Forks and Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton slugged it out Tuesday night in the Minnesota Section 8AA girls semifinals, a game in which there was more intensity than offense.

The last minute turned into a burst of Green Wave momentum and they took a 50-46 victory.

East Grand Forks will play Roseau Friday at 7 p.m. for the section title and a berth in the state tournament. The Rebels, meanwhile, ended a good season at 24-5.

"Tough way to end the season," said D-G-F head coach Tom Critchley Jr. "The wheels kind of fell off there and spiraled out of control."

It led to East Grand Forks finishing the game on a 7-0 run.

"We had one word going into the game and that was 'believe,'" said East Grand forward Brooke Filipi. "We had to believe in ourselves."

They certainly did in the final minute.

McKenna Aitchison's 15-footer brought the Green Wave within 46-45 with 1:55 remaining. At that point, and with no shot clock, D-G-F went to the stall the game. It didn't work.

Filipi's steal, the first of four straight Rebels turnovers, and layup with 46 seconds left gave East Grand a one-point lead.

"We had a mindset that we needed the ball," Filipi said.

Green Wave head coach Jay Frydenlund said he was close to having one of his players foul a D-G-F player before Filipi's steal. The Green Wave followed that with another steal and Natalie Carlstrom made it pay off with a field goal with 34 seconds remaining. That made it 49-46.

"We made some big defensive plays," Frydenlund said. "We went to a halfcourt trap and they got a little greedy against it and we got a chance."

East Grand got another turnover, but missed two free throws. Down by three, D-G-F still had a chance to tie, but committed another turnover with 15 seconds left. Carlstom made one of two free throws two seconds later to make it a two-possession game.

"Our adrenalin is really rushing right now," Filipi said. "It feels good to win that game."

Filipi led the Green Wave with 20 points.

It was ironic how the final minute played out in that it was the Rebels who were forcing turnovers consistently all night. The Green Wave flipped the script when they needed it most.

"You can't take a possession off against a good team," Frydenlund said.

Natalie Steichen led the Rebels with 18 points.