Two schools will look to continue their Cinderella season today while their opposition will be banking on history.
It was a day of firsts and familiar faces Thursday at Williams Arena.
Barnum and Ada-Borup earned their first state tournament victories in school history, and Fulda and Granada-Huntley-East Chain joined them for today's semifinals.
Barnum 49, Meadow Creek Christian 40: Colleen McKay (16) and Kylea Seboe (15) combined for 31 points, leading Barnum to its initial state tournament victory in appearance No. 6.
Foul trouble: Elizabeth Woerle was controlling both ends of the court. She owned the glass and was instrumental in helping the Saints turn an early seven-point deficit into a four-point lead. That was until she picked up her fourth foul on an over-the-back call trying to grab an offensive rebound with 12:16 remaining. Meadow Creek Christian (26-5) went six minutes without a basket and never led again.
"When she got her fourth foul it made a huge difference," McKay said. The 6-foot junior had six points as Barnum (29-2) closed the game with a 20-7 run.
The 6-1 Woerle finished with 14 points and nine rebounds in only 22 minutes.
"I'm not used to playing against somebody as tall as me and stronger," McKay said. "She was tough, definitely a challenge."
Fulda 73, Fosston 45: Junior forward Kaitlyn Kramer showed she can be versatile. Kramer scored inside and out in a dominating first half. She had 17 of her 21 points in a half that saw Fulda build a 20-point lead.
Fast start: If there was any question about the outcome of this one, Fulda (24-4) quickly erased them. The Raiders held Fosston (18-11) without a basket for the first 7 minutes, 47 seconds while building a 12-point lead.
"We came out so fired up and ready to go," Kramer said. "We wanted to come out strong because we knew they had the ability to score in spurts."
Kramer had 14 first-half points working the lane when she stepped out and buried a three-pointer with 2:57 remaining in the first half, giving Fulda a 37-17 lead. It was only her seventh of the season.
Ada-Borup 51, Browerville 44: The Cougars limited Browerville to nine points over the final 12 minutes, rallying for a seven-point victory.
Off the bench: Katy Ness' role is to play defense, rebound and hit the open shot. The first two happen a little more naturally for the freshman guard.
"I usually don't score that much," said Ness, who averages 5.6 points per game but came off the bench and turned in a 14-point performance. "This really feels good, especially coming at the state tournament."
Ness kept Ada-Borup (27-2) in the game in the first half. She had nine points as Browerville (21-4) led 26-22 at halftime. Her three-pointer gave the Cougars the lead for good at 40-37 with 8:07 remaining.
Granada-Huntley-East Chain 62, Elgin-Millville 56: Trailing by one point, the Mustangs made eight consecutive free throws in the final 49 seconds to knock off the defending state champion.
Back to the line: Lori Balcom walked to the free-throw line with 49 seconds remaining and the Mustangs (26-2) trailing Elgin-Millville (24-7) by one, 55-54. She had missed her two previous free throws 41 seconds earlier in the same situation.
Memories of two years ago were etched in her mind. She missed two free throws with one-tenth of a second remaining and the Mustangs trailing Cromwell by two in the state quarterfinals. Balcom, now a senior, learned from that experience. She made both free throws to give the Mustangs the lead for good.
"I told myself, 'I have to make these,'" Balcom said. "Free throws aren't the best part of our game."