by Bob San
SUN PRESS NEWSPAPERS
Champlin Park broke open a close game in the second half and defeated host Maple Grove 66-52 in Section 5 girls’ basketball quarterfinal action Feb. 28.
The Crimson had defeated the Rebels twice in conference play but third time was not the charm as they struggled with their shooting all night. Champlin Park led 26-21 at halftime and Maple Grove cut it to 31-27 early in the second half. But the Crimson turned ice cold from the field while the Rebels found their shooting touch and went on a 13-2 run. Two consecutive threes by Genevae Adkins made it 44-29 and the way the Crimson were shooting, it was insurmountable.
“Unfortunately we picked a bad night to shoot poorly, but that happens,” Crimson coach Mark Cook said. “I give Champlin Park a ton of credit. That was a different team than we saw the first two times. The effort and energy they played with is a testament to their character and their coaches.”
Sophomore forward Julie Hagert led Maple Grove with 13 points, Kelly Olzenak had 10, Angie Davison 8 and Kaela Jones 7.
Cook was pleased with the overall season, which ended with Maple Grove getting 19 wins.
“I’m so proud of our group of kids,” Cook said. “You never want to see a season end that way, but this group of kids gave it everything they had every night and I am so proud of them and blessed to be able to have had the opportunity to coach them.”
The loss ended the high school careers of seniors Davison (four-year letter winner) Ordner (four-year letter winner), Olzenak (four-year letter winner), Kyla Schmidt (three-year letter winner, SJ DeGroote (two-year letter winner) and Emily Zimmer (two-year letter winner).
“Our seniors are one of the greatest groups of leaders I’ve ever seen,” Cook said. “They all contributed to the leadership on this team in their own ways. I’m so tremendously proud of them and all they accomplished throughout their careers here at Maple Grove. They have truly left a legacy.”
Contact Bob San at firstname.lastname@example.org