Ada-Borup players celebrate their team's semifinal victory (Jim Gehrz/Star Tribune)
Ada-Borup made sure the third time wasn’t the charm for Win-E-Mac. The Cougars completed a three-game season sweep of its Pine to Prairie Conference foe with a 62-55 victory in the Class 1A girls’ basketball state semifinals.
Win-E-Mac believed this would finally be the game they would find a way to win. Six lead changes and six ties kept the Patriots close.
The Cougars were led by junior guard Monica Vega scored 18 points, nine from the free-throw line.
“I think we kind of underestimated them and they didn’t back down,” Vega said. “They came out stronger than we expected even though we had beat them twice.”
Ada-Borup had three others score in double figures. Shaina Stevenson had 15 points, Heidi Eggen 14 and, Megan Kolness 12. Stevenson scored 12 in the second half, including two timely three-pointers and four free throws in the final minute.
Coach David Smart said Stevenson has been consistent in high-pressure situations and was happy to see her get a chance to secure the win from the free-throw line.
Win-E-Mac’s Korbyn Ross had 18 points and Shelby Kaster a double-double (17 points, 10 rebounds). They couldn’t quite figure out how to stop Vega’s speed and Kolness on the boards, despite improving each time they ran into the Cougars. The margin of victory for Ada-Borup was 21 in first meeting and 11 in the second.
“It’s unfortunate for [Win-E-Mac] that their only three losses [all year] were to us,” Smart said. “They are a really good team.”
1. Monica Vega, Ada-Borup
Small in stature, but incredibly talented, Vega was critical down the stretch for Ada-Borup to hold onto the lead. Hitting nine of her ten free throw attempts, she helped nail down this victory over their conference opponent.
2. Shelby Kaster, Win-E-Mac
Kaster's 17 points and 10 rebounds helped keep Win-E-Mac in this game right until the bitter end. She found open spots on the floor throughout the game and picked apart an incredibly tough Ada-Borup defense.
3. Megan Kolness, Ada-Borup
While struggling to hit her long range shots, Kolness hit the boards hard in this game. The result was a solid eight rebounds to go along with her 12 points.
-Jake Lunemann, MN Girls Basketball Hub