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Centennial pulls away to defeat Maple Grove in 4A quarterfinal

By JIM PAULSEN, Star Tribune, 03/13/19, 3:15PM CDT


Taylor McAuley scored 22 points and Sarah Lavell added 19 in the Cougars' 74-64 victory.

Ari Gordon (34) of Maple Grove scrambles for a loose ball with Megan Stacy (22) of Centennial. Photo: RICHARD TSONG-TAATARII ¥ richard.tsong-taatarii@startribune.com

Sarah Lavell hit four three-pointers in the first half to stake Centennial to a slim halftime lead, then stepped aside and let the rest of the Cougars shine in a 74-64 victory over Maple Grove in the Class 4A quarterfinals.

Centennial coach Jill Becken said it’s not unusual for Lavell, a 5-11 senior center, to be among the team’s best outside shooters in practice, but admitted her hot hand in the first half Wednesday was a pleasant surprise.

“At halftime, one of the coaches said if Lavell’s not hitting threes, we’re not in this right now,” Becken said. “I asked her what she had for breakfast because she needs to have that again tomorrow.”

Lavell said she felt good during warmups at Williams Arena and decided to go with that feeling once the game started.

First report

Centennial pulled away from Maple Grove midway through the second half to defeat the Crimson 74-64 on Wednesday and advance to Thursday's Class 4A semifinals.

Taylor McAuley scored 22 points and Sarah Leavell added 19 for the No. 4-seeded Cougars (26-4), who opened up a tight game with a 12-3 second-half run at Williams Arena.

Abby Schulte paced Maple Grove (23-7) with 17 points.

Check back later for more on the game.

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