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Lakeville North ends Anoka's run

By Star Tribune staff reports, 03/16/11, 10:00PM CDT


64-40 win ends dramatic streak for the Tornadoes

Anoka's Shauni Payeur moved the ball upcourt early in her team's game against Lakeville North Wednesday afternoon. Jeff Wheeler, Star Tribune

If Anoka’s surprising run was going to end — and realistically, it had to end sometime — it couldn’t have been more fitting than to lose to the defending state champions and the state’s best player.

Lakeville North had little trouble with the upstart Tornadoes, racing out to a 34-14 halftime lead and cruising to a 64-40 victory.

Star Tribune Metro Player of the Year Rachel Banham led Lakeville North with 27 points, despite sitting on the bench for much of the second half because the Panthers had such a large lead.

In fact, until about 12 minutes were left, Banham alone had outscored the Tornadoes, 23-20.

“I was able to hit a few more gaps than I normally do,” she said.

The game was seemingly a no-win situation for Lakeville North. On one hand, the Panthers were expected to beat Anoka, a team that went into the game with just six victories and a truckload of underdog love. On the other, if they played poorly, it would have raised questions about their qualifications to repeat.

“They got a lot of hype, and they deserved it,” Lakeville coach Andy Berkvam said. “But no one is talking about us. We’ve got a good basketball team. Now we get the chance to go out and prove it.”

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