In a game you heard from the Mayo Civic Center Auditorium in Rochester Saturday afternoon, the Grand Meadow Superlarks girls basketball team, the No. 2 seed in the Section 1A tournament and ranked No. 7 in the state in Class A in the latest poll from the Minnesota Basketball News took on third-seeded Randolph in the section semifinals, and it was the Superlarks earning their 21st win in a row in a hard-fought, grind-it-out 44-36 victory.
Randolph led 14-12 after a defense-minded first half, but it was Grand Meadow getting their offense going to start the second half against a tough man-to-man defense from the Rockets as they went on a 5-0 run to take a 17-14 lead, only to see Randolph rally back with a 6-0 run of their own to lead 20-17. A 3-pointer from freshman guard Gracie Foster later tied the game at 22, and what wound up being a 13-6 run gave the Larks a lead they would not relinquish at 30-26. After Randolph cut the lead to 30-28, a 3-pointer from senior guard Sydney Cotten boosted Grand Meadow’s lead to 33-28, and Cotten then found sophomore guard Lauren Queensland cutting down the lane with a pass from the left corner to give the Larks a 35-28 lead. After the Rockets cut the lead to 35-32, Cotten again drained a 3-pointer to give Grand Meadow a two-possession lead back at 38-32, and she again found Queensland cutting down the lane from the left corner for a layup and a 40-32 Superlarks lead. Randolph would not go quietly, however, as they tallied the next two baskets to cut the lead back to four at 40-36, but the Superlarks, who went 11-15 from the free throw line for the game, all in the second half were able to hold off the final Randolph surge to earn the win.
Grand Meadow was led offensively by forward Lexy Foster, who scored 16 points, eight in each half, Cotten wound up with nine points, all in the second half, Queensland tallied eight points for the game, also all in the second stanza, Gracie Foster chipped in five points, forward Rebecca Hoffman was 4 for 4 from the free-throw line in the second half for four points and guard/forward Kendyl Queensland scored two points in the victory.
Grand Meadow is now 27-2 on the season, and the Superlarks will now face No. 1 seed and defending Section 1A champion Hayfield for the section title at the Mayo Civic Center Arena in Rochester Thursday night at 6 p.m. You’ll hear the game on AM 1480 KAUS, myaustinminnesota.com, and the I Heart Radio and radio.com apps, with the pre-game show coming you way at 5:40 p.m.