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In extra session, Stewartville hands Sauk Centre its first regular-season loss since 2016

By Ryan Williamson, SportsEngine, 12/01/18, 8:00AM CST


Lily Welch put up 22 points for the Tigers, who took the tight contest to OT and defeated the reigning Class 2A champs.

Stewartville junior Lily Welch (12) led her team with 22 points at the Breakdown Tip Off Classic Saturday. The Tigers beat the Mainstreeters 71-67 in overtime. Photo by Earl J. Ebensteiner, SportsEngine

There were certain games Stewartville coach Ryan Liffrig circled on the schedule. Without a doubt, Saturday’s matchup against Sauk Centre was one highlighted and underscored.

The Mainstreeters are the defending Class 2A champions. They are coming off an undefeated season and currently ranked No. 2 in Class 2A by Minnesota Basketball News.

On Saturday, the Tigers put up one of their best performances in recent memory. Stewartville outlasted the defending state champions en route to a 71-67 overtime win at Hopkins High School in the 2018 Breakdown Tip Off Classic.

Stewartville's Kailee Malone drives to the hoop in overtime, where she put up five unanswered points to help the TIgers beat Sauk Centre at the Breakdown Tip Off Classic. Photo by Earl J. Ebensteiner, SportsEngine

First report

After leading most of the game, Stewartville held off a furious second-half rally from Sauk Centre as the Tigers defeated the Mainstreeters 71-67 Saturday at Hopkins High School in the 2018 Breakdown Tip Off Classic.

Stewartville (3-1) built an early lead on the shoulders of junior guard Lily Welch’s team-best nine first-half points. Welch finished with a game-high 22 points for the Tigers, ranked No. 3 in Class 3A by Minnesota Basketball News.

Sauk Centre (1-1) erased an eight-point second-half deficit thanks to offensive prowess of players like junior center Julia Damman. She had 12 second-half points for the No. 2-2A Mainstreeters and finished with a team-best 18 points.

Tied at 63, the game headed to overtime. Junior guard Kailee Malone put up five important points, while senior center Makenna Theobald and junior guard Olivia Quam each knocked down key free throws late in overtime as the Tigers handed the defending Class 2A state champions their first loss since the 2016-17 postseason.

Sauk Centre junior center Julia Damman pushes through a defender in the first half. Damman's team-high 18 points weren't enough as Sauk Centre lost to Stewartville 71-67 in overtime. Photo by Earl J. Ebensteiner, SportsEngine

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