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Sister act powers Minnetonka's girls' basketball win

02/12/2013, 10:39pm CST
By JASON GONZALEZ, Star Tribune

Joanna and Hannah Hedstrom made vital threes.

It was hard to tell the difference between Hedstroms on Tuesday night at Minnetonka. The sisters' clutch three-pointers to end regulation and overtime earned Minnetonka a 62-60 victory over Centennial.

The elder Hedstrom, senior guard Joanna, calmly gave the Skippers (19-4) a two-point lead on a three-pointer with 19 seconds remaining in the extra period. The Cougars (18-5) had two chances to tie or win the game, but rushed themselves out of one and missed a game-ending three-point attempt.

Anne Hamilton led Minnetonka with 24 points.

Though Joanna became the Skippers' career leading scorer early in the night and finished with 22 points, she willingly shared the attention with her younger sister, Hannah.

The freshman made her first varsity start in the nonconference meeting of Class 4A top 10s, but performed like a veteran. With a little push from her sister, Hannah made arguably two of the biggest shots of the night -- buzzer-beating three-pointers to end regulation and the first half.

Those six points were her only ones of the game and both banked in, but became the most valuable scores of her young basketball career.

"That's my first time banking [three-pointers in], I'm just glad they went in," Hannah said. "I was kind of anxious and apprehensive [to start], but I think I was ready."

So did Joanna. With Centennial swarming around the standout senior in the final seconds of regulation, she yelled to her sister to shoot the final shot. It slammed into the backboard, rolled around the rim, and fell in. Hannah attributed the shot's force to adrenaline.

"It was her time to step in," Joanna said. "It was fun being able to have her score."

Centennial nearly finished off a season sweep of the Lake Conference's best. The Cougars beat Wayzata (No. 8 in the state at the time) and Hopkins (No. 1 at the time) and entered Tuesday's road contest eager to upset Minnetonka.

Senior center Jill Conrad put Centennial up 52-49 with nine seconds left in regulation and scored five of her 19 points in overtime to give her team a 60-59 lead with 38 seconds left.

"A two-point loss in overtime stings," Conrad said. "We can definitely compete with this [Lake] conference, but sometimes the mental side of the game kicks us -- unforced turnovers and not being patient."

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