WEM trips Fairmont in 2AA playoffs; BEA, Jaguars fall in sub-section games

Taylor Crissinger

WATERVILLE — Waterville-Elysian-Morristown sophomore forward Toryn Richards connected on four consecutive free throws during the final 14 seconds of regulation to help the No. 2-seeded Bucs survive the No. 7-seeded Fairmont Cardinals’ upset bid, 40-37, during Section 2AA, South Sub-Section quarterfinal basketball action Tuesday night in Waterville.

Fairmont senior post player Taylor Crissinger poured in a game-best 18 points to help power the Cardinals to a 33-24 lead late in the second half before Richards and sophomore guard Brielle Bartelt triggered the Bucs’ comeback bid.

Bartelt, who matched Richards by scoring 10 points apiece, drilled a late 3-pointer before Richards sank two free throws with 14 seconds remaining in the game to swing a 38-37 lead to WEM — its first advantage since early in the opening half.

After a Fairmont turnover with 7.8 seconds to go in regulation, Richards converted a clutch one-and-one situation with 4.6 seconds remaining to extend WEM’s margin to 40-37. The Cardinals’ last-second 3-pointer just missed the mark.

Crissinger joined the Fairmont girls basketball program’s 1,000-point career scoring club to cap her outstanding five-year varsity career. She finished her prep basketball playing days with 1,012.

Crissinger produced a double-double performance by grabbing a game-best 13 rebounds to complement three steals for the Cardinals.

Fairmont freshman post player Cadence Becker contributed six points, five rebounds and four assists, while senior guard Lexi Lunn closed out her solid five-year varsity hoops career with six points on the game.

Crissinger, who paced the Cardinals’ 26-16 rebounding edge, netted 12 first-half points to help the No. 7 seed garner a 20-16 halftime lead.

The Cardinals made 17 of 39 field goals overall, including just 1 of 13 behind the arc, and just 2 of 3 free throws.

Paige Pittmann delivered 10 of her team-best 12 points during the first half for WEM, which sank 6 of 10 free throws on the contest.

WEM (20-5) advances to face No. 6-seeded Maple River (17-10) in a 7:30 p.m. sub-section semifinal Friday night at Mankato East.

Maple River tripped up No. 3 seed Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial (21-4), 73-70.

Fairmont ended the season with a 9-16 overall record.

St. Peter 60, Blue Earth Area 43 — Sarah Conlon poured in a game-best 30 points to power the No. 4-seeded Saints to a 17-point Section 2AA, South Sub-Section quarterfinal triumph over the No. 5-seeded Bucs on Tuesday night in St. Peter.

St. Peter (12-10) advances to face unbeaten and No. 1-seeded Medford (24-0) in a 6 p.m. sub-section semifinal Friday night at Mankato East High School. Medford eliminated No. 8 seed New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva, 78-58.

Caitlin Rorman, who eclipsed the rare 2,000-point career scoring plateau earlier in February, closed out her prolific prep basketball playing days with a team-best 18 points for Blue Earth Area.

Hannah Johnson produced 11 points during her final basketball game as a Buc, while Arika Howard contributed seven points.

Jacey Welp netted nine points for the Saints, who built a 30-15 halftime lead and never trailed for the duration.

Morgan Kelly supplied eight points to the Saints’ winning ways, while Allison McCabe chipped in seven points.

Blue Earth Area ended its season with a 13-11 record.

Section 2A Playoffs

St. Clair 69, Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman/Martin Luther 57 — MacKenzie Kruse connected for a game-leading 24 points and Ragan Vilt tossed in 18 more to twist the No. 3-seeded Cyclones to a 12-point Section 2A, South Sub-Section quarterfinal win over the No. 6 Jaguars on Tuesday night in St. Clair.

Michaelah Petrowiak scored a team-best 16 points for the Jaguars, while Jayme Balcom delivered 15 points and distributed eight assists.

Lydia Studer neared double-double territory by scoring 13 points to complement nine rebounds for the Jaguars, while Rachel Stauter pulled down eight boards.

The Jaguars closed out their season with a 6-20 record.

St. Clair (8-12) advances to face No. 2 seed Springfield (17-9) in a 7:30 p.m. sub-section semifinal Friday night in Lake Crystal. Springfield routed No. 7-seeded United South Central, 64-35.