Arrows corral Mavericks in South Sub-Section hoops semifinal
WINDOM — Pipestone Area’s April Haupert and MacKenzie Haroldson each swooshed pivotal 3-pointers during Thursday night’s Section 3AA, South Sub-Section basketball semifinal in Windom.
Clinging to a 21-20 lead on the heels of Martin County West guard Alyssa Williamson’s clutch one-and-one conversion, Haupert tossed in a buzzer-beating left-wing trifecta to extend the Arrows’ lead to four going into the lockerroom.
Haroldson, who was scoreless during the first half, exited the lockerroom and drained a 3-pointer off one of Miranda Hulstein’s game-best seven assists to trigger Pipestone’s momentum-shifting 22-5 avalanche during the first 11 minutes of the second half.
Zoe Velde produced a game-high 22 points, grabbed eight rebounds and blocked five shots, while Hulstein generated 14 points and a game-leading six steals to complement her assist total to power the No. 1-seeded Arrows to a 65-33 triumph over the No. 4-seeded Mavericks.
Pipestone (16-8) advances to face No. 2-seeded Redwood Valley (17-8) for the South Sub-Section championship at 6 p.m. Tuesday night at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall. Redwood Valley defeated No. 6 seed Jackson County Central, 65-55, to gain the sub-section finals.
Martin County West ended the season with a 16-7 overall record.
“I’m too short to take it (the basketball) into the lane, so I was looking to take the 3,” the 5-foot-5 Haupert said with a grin.
“That was a big play when April nailed the 3-pointer at the buzzer just before halftime,” said Velde. “We weren’t getting some of our shots to fall early on, and that 3 gave us a little cushion and shifted the momentum in our direction.
“In the second half, we did a better job of swinging the basketball around the perimeter in order to set up good looks at the basket, and then we got our shots to fall.”
Karlee Thiesse netted three of her team-best eight points on a left-corner trey at the 15-minute juncture, but unfortunately, those points and Marissa Whitehead’s two free throws would be the Mavericks’ only offensive production until Thiesse’s next 3-pointer at the 7-minute mark.
Carmen Skyberg hit a low-post leaner off a Mandi Miller entry pass, Hulstein floated home a baseline runner and Miller snapped the nets on a stepback trifecta after pocketing a midcourt steal to extend the Arrows’ lead to 36-23 at the 13:27 juncture.
“Everybody shot a lot better during the second half,” Velde said in reference to the Arrows’ 5-for-9 effort from behind the arc and 12-for-16 performance at the free throw line during the final 18 minutes.
The Mavericks, who went 6 of 10 from the field and 6 of 7 at the free throw line in the first half, made only 3 of 19 field goals and 5 of 10 charity tosses as they were outscored 41-13 during the second segment.
With 13 1/2 minutes to go, Whitehead tossed in two of her seven bench points from the charity stripe before Velde swooshed a pull-up 3-pointer from the right corner. Velde then fired a perfect baseball inbound pass to Hulstein on a backdoor curl for a layup before Velde added two free throws to eventually widen Pipestone’s lead to 46-25.
Thiesse drained a right-wing 3 off a Madison Klima assist, Cheyenne Owens converted a one-and-one situation and Samantha Meyer added a solo free throw to pace MCW’s 6-0 run, but Haroldson drilled another trey to slam the brakes on the Mavericks’ mini-run.
Velde’s successful one-and-one conversion at the 4:46 juncture then triggered Pipestone’s game-ending 16-0 surge.
Haroldson tallied 10 points — all in the second half — for the Arrows, while Miller and Haupert supplied eight and six points, respectively.
Thiesse grabbed a team-best six rebounds to go with her eight points, Owens collected six points and five rebounds, while Meyer and Williamson finished with five points apiece for MCW.
M.C. West 20-13–33
Owens 1-3 4-4 6, Thiesse 3-7 0-0 8, Meyer 2-4 1-2 5, Klima 0-4 0-0 0, Williamson 1-7 2-4 5, Whitehead 2-4 2-5 7, Revland 0-0 2-2 2. Totals 9-29 11-17 33.
Hulstein 6-12 2-2 14, Draper 0-0 1-2 1, Velde 7-10 6-8 22, Haroldson 2-4 4-6 10, Skyberg 1-2 0-0 2, Miller 3-8 0-0 8, Haupert 2-3 0-0 6, Hiniker 0-1 0-0 0, Reinert 1-1 0-0 2, Strasser 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 22-42 13-18 65.
3-pointers: Pipestone 8-18 (Velde 2-3, Haupert 2-3, Miller 2-4, Haroldson 2-4, Hulstein 0-4); Martin Co. West 4-13 (Thiesse 2-5, Whitehead 1-1, Williamson 1-5, Klima 0-2). Fouled out: None. Rebounds: Pipestone 26 (Velde 8); MCW 14 (Thiesse 6). Assists: Pipestone 13 (Hulstein 7, Velde 3); MCW 4. Steals: Pipestone 13 (Hulstein 6, Velde 3); MCW 3.