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GIRLS BASKETBALL: Sacred Heart prepares for final against Fosston

Despite opening the girls basketball season with 23 consecutive wins, East Grand Forks Sacred Heart never cracked the top 10 in the Class A state poll. But being overlooked wasn't a big deal to the Eagles.

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Sacred Heart's Anya Edwards (1) goes up for two with Kelly Schultz playing interference. Jesse Trelstad/ Grand Forks Herald

Despite opening the girls basketball season with 23 consecutive wins, East Grand Forks Sacred Heart never cracked the top 10 in the Class A state poll. But being overlooked wasn't a big deal to the Eagles.

"It got to be a little insulting because of our record,'' Eagles coach Joann Remer said. "But the rankings don't matter.''

Sacred Heart's bid for an unbeaten season ended in Game No. 24, a 69-48 setback to then-unbeaten Thompson. Again -- not a big deal.

"It would have been nice to go undefeated,'' Remer said. "But it was a good wake-up call for us.''

Friday, however, is a big deal.

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Sacred Heart plays Fosston at 7 p.m. at Ralph Engelstad Arena in Thief River Falls in the championship game of the Section 8A tournament. To the winner goes a berth in next week's Minnesota state tournament. To the loser, the season ends.

"That is a big deal,'' Remer said.

According to long-time former Sacred Heart athletic director and girls basketball coach Mike Marek, the Eagles have never played in the state girls basketball tournament. In fact, he said, this is the first time an Eagles team has played in a section girls basketball championship game.

"I don't think that impacts us,'' Remer said. "These girls go along with the flow. They've been very good at handling the different situations we've been in. They've shown a lot of character.''

Sacred Heart, 27-1, is the No. 1 seed from West Subsection 8A. The Eagles have been a big-scoring team, averaging 69.2 points in an offense led by Michele Remer (18.2 ppg, 11.6 rpg) and Anya Edwards (15.9 ppg). Jocelyn Adolphson (7.6 ppg) being the most consistent perimeter threat.

"The keys are always the same for our team,'' Joann Remer said. "We have to play good defense. At times we have, but it's been up and down. And we like to get into a transition game. We've done well in our set offense. But we're better when we're running.''

Fosston, 23-6, is one of the hottest teams in the state's Class A ranks. After a 6-6 start, the Greyhounds have won 17 straight. In its last two games in the section tournament, Fosston, seeded fourth in the east subsection, beat East No. 1 Win-E-Mac 53-48 in overtime and East No. 2 Red Lake 53-35.

Fosston is stingy, limiting opponents to an average of 41.8 points.

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"They've won some big games,'' Joann Remer said. "That has to be huge for them. They have to be flying high.

"Fosston is very disciplined. They take care of the ball and don't make a lot of mistakes. I only have seen them play one game (against Red Lake), but they seem to be more patient than us, and they have the height advantage.''

Abby Swanson (18 ppg) and Emily Curfman (16 ppg) pace a balanced Fosston offense.

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