The Fergus Falls girls basketball team made a ferocious comeback bid after falling behind by eleven points on Wednesday in the Class 3A State quarterfinals at Maturi Pavilion on the campus of the University of Minnesota, however, Holy Angels was able to hold on for a 58-57 victory over the Otters.
Fergus Falls made 10-of-12 first half free throws and hits six 3’s in the opening half as they took a 34-30 halftime lead. They increased their lead to 41-34 early in the second half, but the Stars rattled off eighteen straight points to build a 52-41 lead with just over ten minutes to play in the game. Three-pointers on back to back possessions by Sam Evavold and Ellie Colbeck cut the lead to five at 52-47 and a layup by Lily Pearson brought the Otters to within three points at 52-49 with just under five minutes to play. A three-point play by Rachel Kawiecki, which featured the only free throw of the game for Holy Angels, gave the Stars a five-point lead. Another basket by Kawiecki put the score at 56-49 with just over three minutes remaining. Holy Angels led 58-51 when the Otters started exerting intense full court pressure which led to four consecutive possessions with a turnover by the Stars. A steal by Tori Ratz led to a layup by Sabrina Fronning, assisted by Ratz to cut the lead to 58-53. Then, it was Sam Evavold’s turn as she came up with the steal and the layup to trim the lead to 3 points at 58-55. An errant pass led to another turnover which resulted in a basket by Fronning, assisted by Colbeck, to make it a one point contest at 58-57. Good pressure on the ball led to another Holy Angels turnover and put the Otters in a position to setup for a winning shot. After a timeout with eight seconds to play, Colbeck drove to the basket but had the ball stripped away, resulting in the Otters eighteenth turnover of the game. Colbeck committed a foul after losing the ball but only seven-tenths of a second remained and the clock expired on the successful inbounds pass by Holy Angels.
Fergus Falls shot just 36.2% (17-47) from the field, but dished out 15 assists on their 17 makes. They were 34.6% from beyond the arc. The Otters held a 35-27 advantage on the boards. Lily Pearson (14 points, 10 rebounds) recorded a double-double, making 4-of-7 field goal attempts. Ellie Colbeck had 16 of her game high 20 points in the first half and made 5-of-11 3’s and 5-of-6 free throws. Sam Evavold connected on 5-of-9 shots and 4-of-8 3-point attempts, finishing with 15 points. She also led the team with 4 steals. Colbeck and Fronning finished with 5 and 4 assists, respectively. Evavold added 7 rebounds, Fronning had 6, and Colbeck grabbed 5.
Holy Angles made 44.4% (25-54) of their shots and 39% (7-18) of their 3’s. They were led by Kassandra Caron (20 points, 4 steals) and Francesca Vascellaro (19 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals).
Holy Angels improved to 22-7 with the win. They will face top-seeded DeLaSalle at noon Thursday at Williams Arena in a championship semfinal.
The Otters (23-5) will play a consolation semifinal against Hibbing (27-3) at 2:00pm Thursday at Concordia University in St. Paul.