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Surviving the First Playoff Round on the Road

03/01/2019, 6:00pm CST
By Tom Schardin

The Prior Lake girls basketball team survived the first round of Section 2AAAA play.

The fifth-seeded Lakers hit some big three-pointers and dominated the first half defensively en route to a 52-47 win at fourth-seeded Edina in the quarterfinals Feb. 27.

Prior Lake (11-16 overall) will take on top-seeded Eden Prairie (20-6) in the semifinals March 2 at 1 p.m., while second-seeded Chaska (20-7) will take on third-seeded Shakopee (18-9) at 3 p.m. Both games are the top-seed's home court.

The winners will meet in the title game March 8 at the site of the higher seed at 7 p.m. Prior Lake and Eden Prairie played back on Dec. 21 with the Eagles earning an 81-70 road victory.

Prior Lake, the defending Section 2AAAA champs, went into the playoffs losing eight of its last nine games.

Senior McKenna Hofschild, the team's leading scorer at 22.8 points per game, played briefly in the team's final regular season game Feb. 22 after missing the previous seven games due to an ankle injury.

Against Edina, Hofschild didn't start. She got into the game at the 10:08 mark, and played about five minutes in the first half. She got about eight minutes of action in the second half.

She scored three points, and had a couple of assists and a steal. She was limping the entire time she was playing and didn't have her typical explosiveness. But her presence of the court has an calming impact on her team.

Junior Ella Schnackenberg stepped up her game for Prior Lake, finishing with 15 points. She converted a easy bucket after the Lakers broke the press with just over five minutes to play. Junior Haidyn Pitsch followed with a three-pointer to put Prior Lake up 52-39 with 4:56 remaining.

The Lakers hung on from there.

Pitsch finished with 9 points, as did sophomore Tatum Brostrom. Sophomore Kate Trachsel scored 7 points, while senior Reagan Dahl chipped in 5.

Dahl and Brostrom each hit big three-pointers in the second half. Schnackenberg hit a three-pointer late in the first half to help her team build the nine-point lead. Prior Lake 22-13 at the break.

Last season, Prior Lake won the section as the No. 3 seed, earning the program's first-ever state berth as a Class 4A team. The team entered last year's playoffs with 13 losses. Hofschild scored 41, 34 and 42 points in the three section wins last winter.

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