Willmar got exactly what it needed, a cold-shooting Tori Andrew. It only lasted a half.
The Orono senior sharpshooter buried three long three-pointers to start the second half, and the No. 2-ranked Spartans were on their way to a 59-45 victory over Willmar in the Class 3A quarterfinals Tuesday at Target Center.
Andrew's outburst came in the first three minutes of the second half. She also made two free throws during that time as the Spartans (25-4) built a 40-19 advantage.
"I'm a scorer, so I never believe that I'm out of a zone," said Andrew, who had 17 of her 26 points after halftime.
The school's career leading scorer got her first-half points on 2-for-11 shooting. Senior forward Natalie Smaron made up for the rare cold spell with 10 points as the Spartans took a 26-13 lead at halftime.
"I was really anxious when the game started," said Andrew, who was 5-for-12 from three-point range. "I had to adjust to being in a different atmosphere."
Smaron finished with 16 points on 8-for-11 shooting. She also had 10 rebounds.
"I just want to come out, and give 110 percent all of the time," Smaron said. "I did a lot of preparing before the game, and that really helped."
The Cardinals (20-10) were led by senior forward Heidi Sellman's 11 points.
"Both teams were really stagnant offensively in the first half," Orono coach Lavesa Glover-Verhagen said. "The bright lights, and big-city atmosphere. I think both teams got caught up in it."
Alexandria 46, Grand Rapids 44: Kaye Paschke had no option. She had to be creative.
The sophomore guard drove hard to the basket and converted a runner as the final buzzer sounded, giving the No. 6-ranked Cardinals (26-4) the victory in the second Class 3A game.
"The play we were trying to run broke down," Paschke said. "I knew time was running out. When I heard three seconds yelled from our bench I knew I had to do something quickly."
She used her speed to get into the lane, and make her only basket of the night. She missed her previous attempt.
"I was like 'Wow, did I just make that?' " Paschke said. "When all of our players started screaming and running toward me, I knew that I did."
"Kaye wasn't one of our main options," Alexandria coach Wendy Kohler said. "She did what we tell all our players to do, give yourself a chance and attack the basket."
Seniors Kendall Kohler (17 points) and Kayla Feldhake (16) combined for 33 points for the Cardinals. Meara Beighley had 14 points and 12 rebounds for No. 8-ranked Grand Rapids (23-6).