The Prior Lake girls basketball team had its three-game winning streaked snapped in double overtime Jan. 9.
The Lakers couldn’t slow down the Blaze’s Madison Malecha, who scored 35 points in a 69-68 home win over Prior Lake in South Suburban Conference play.
The Lakers (6-8 overall, 3-3 in the conference) opened the New Year with two home victories — 69-56 over Waconia Jan. 2 in a battle of Section 2AAAA foes and 71-60 against No. 7-ranked Rosemount Jan. 4 in league play.
The Lakers will get a big test Jan. 16 on the road taking No. 1 Minnetonka, also a section team. So far, Prior Lake is 2-2 against the section with its other win over Chanhassen and the two losses to No. 4 Eden Prairie and Chaska.
The Lakers closed out 2023 splitting two games in the Granite City Classic at the College of St. Benedict Dec. 29-30, falling 55-50 to Delano, ranked No. 3 in Class 3A, and winning 61-56 over No. 6 Maple Grove.
In the loss to Burnsville, junior Bree Bowman led the way for the Lakers with 24 points, while senior CeCe McNair and ninth grader Anna Trachsel were also in double figures with 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Junior Brooklyn Holmberg finished with nine points, while junior Haven Fisher scored seven.
Against Rosemount, it was a 36-36 game at the break, before the Lakers took over in the second half. Senior Julia Thoms led the way with 22 points, while Trachsel scored 15 and Bowman had 12.
Holmberg was also in double figures with 10 points for Prior Lake, followed by McNair with seven.
In beating Waconia, the Lakers jumped out to a 32-19 lead at the break and never looked back. McNair led the charge with 22 points, while Holmberg finished with 15 points.
Bowman added nine points, while Traschel scored eight and Thoms and Fisher both had six.
Following the Minnetonka game, Prior Lake faces only one more section team to finish out the regular season. That’s Shakopee, and the Lakers will be at home versus the Sabers Jan. 18 and on the road Feb. 20.
Section 2AAAA quarterfinal action starts Feb. 28, followed by the semifinals March 2 and the title game March 8. Eden Prairie is the defending champion.
The last time Prior Lake won the Section 2AAAA title was in 2018.
This year’s Class 4A state tournament is set for March 13-16 at Williams Arena and the Sports Pavilion on the University of Minnesota campus. It was an all-Lake Conference final last year with St. Michael-Albertville beating Hopkins 71-70 for the crown.