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DeLaSalle slides past Park Center

By Amelia Rayno, Star Tribune Staff Writer, 03/11/11, 10:09PM CST


The Islanders advanced to the Class 3A state tournament.

Much as they had done all season, when the Islanders faced adversity, they attacked it.

Each time the DeLaSalle girls—who saw star player Mia Loyd suffer an ACL tear early in the season, and sophomore Tyseanna Johnson’s 14-year-old brother endure a heart attack--watched Park Center sink a shot, it seemed they couldn’t get to the other end of the court fast enough to respond.

The Islanders kept that trick going on night, and stayed two steps ahead of the Pirates, winning 67-54 Friday night in the section finals and securing a berth in the Class 3A state tournament.

“All I could think was, “We gotta match baskets, and then play our game,” said Johnson, who finished with 23 points. “And we did. We wanted it more than anything.”

The Islanders—who overwhelmed the Pirates with defensive pressure and offensive intensity--pulled away on three consecutive steal-and-baskets in the first half, and built a 32-19 lead going into the second. From the second, they just rolled, although the very young Park Center squad (which had an 8th and 9th grader in its starting five) did not lay down, going on a 14-9 run to end the game.

“I just told them to take that energy and put it into this game,” DeLaSalle coach Faith Johnson Patterson said. “I’m just so proud of those girls.”

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