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Lakers Turn Up the Heat to Earn a Title Shot

03/05/2018, 9:30am CST
By Tom Schardin

The Prior Lake girls basketball team turned up the heat in the Section 2AAAA semifinals.

The third-seeded Lakers had tons of energy on defense and junior McKenna Hofschild leading the offense in a 64-49 win over second-seeded Eden Prairie March 3. Hofschild led the way with 32 points, including some big three-pointers in the second half.

Prior Lake (15-13 overall) will take on top-seeded Minnetonka (18-10) in the title game March 9 at Minnetonka High School at 7 p.m. The Skippers, the two-time defending section champion, earned a 37-32 win over fourth-seeded Edina in their quarterfinal win.

Meanwhile, Prior Lake is making its second finals appearance in four years, losing in overtime to Shakopee in 2015.

The Lakers also got some revenge on Eden Prairie, losing to the Eagles 78-55 back on Dec. 22.

In the rematch, Prior Lake was up 30-23 at the break over Eden Prairie. The Lakeres' full-court pressure gave the Eagles' problems all game long.

Prior Lake also got to nearly every loose ball and rebounded well, despite being overmatched size-wise. Hofschild scored 21 of 32 points in the second half, while she was in control of the tempo of the game from start to finish.

The Lakers' bench also stepped up. Ninth-grade center Emily Kulstad finished with seven points, playing strong inside against the bigger Eagles. Junior Lexi Wiskow also had seven points, knocking down a pair of three-pointers.

Ninth-grader Tatum Brostrom and sophomore Ella Schnackenberg each had six points, while sophomore Haidyn Pitsch scored four and senior Madi Garcia had two.

The Lakers led by as many as 18 points in the second half, including a 62-47 advantage with 2:37 left to play.

Against Minnetonka, Prior Lake will try to snap a six-game losing streak to the Skippers, including a 79-58 loss in the section semifinals last winter.

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