Minnetonka's Katey Brattland (31) with a behind the back dribble during play against Edina March 9. Brattland had a team high 13 pts in a Skippers Class 4A, Section 2 championship victory. Photo by Korey McDermott, SportsEngine
After trailing by five with 4:20 left, No. 1-seeded Minnetonka scored 10 straight points to beat No. 2 seed Edina 45-40 in the Class 4A, Section 2 championship Thursday night at Hopkins High School.
Neither team led by more than six points throughout a game that featured tough defense and a commitment to getting the basketball into the paint. Six players contributed points for the Skippers while Edina relied mainly on senior Annika Jank's game-high 27 points to keep up with its Lake Conference rival.
The teams were tied 21-21 after the first half and remained neck-and-neck until junior Katey Brattland's three-pointer gave the Skippers a five-point lead with 12 minutes left to play.
Edina got into foul trouble early in the second half, putting Minnetonka in the bonus with more than seven minutes left in the game. However, the Hornets rallied behind Jank and took a 40-35 lead with 4:20 left.
"Our kids handled that pressure really well in the end, they seemed composed," Skippers coach Leah Dasovich said. "In the end it came down to getting defensive stops and share the basketball on offense. I don't know if we did that very well the whole game, but we did down the stretch and that's what counted."
Despite shooting 81 percent from the free-throw line in the regular season, Minnetonka went 5-for-11 in the final seven minutes. Dasovich chalked it up as an abnormality caused by nerves.
Despite poor free-throw shooting, the Skippers went on a 10-0 run to end the game, including five points from Megan Walker, two from Zoe Hardwick and three from Kayla Mershon.
Junior Katey Brattland led Minnetonka with 13 points, nine of which came from behind the three-point line. Brattland's poise and defense late in the game sealed the victory for the Skippers and more than made up for a nearly disastrous pregame mistake.
"I always take naps before games and I took my jersey of at Natalie (Erhard's) house and just left it there," Brattland said.
The jersey didn't arrive until moments before tip-off and had Minnetonka coach Leah Dasovich scrambling to find a replacement uniform for much of the pregame.
After a hectic pregame and a barn-burning game, Dasovic said "Now it's time to move on from this and look ahead."
Minnetonka's Kelsey Schmitz floats up a shot against Edina Thursday at the Linberg Center in Hopkins. Photo by Korey McDermott, SportEngine
Lookout, the Minnetonka Skippers are headed to the state tournament. Photo by Korey McDermott, SportsEngine