Some clutch free-throw shooting finally put away Duluth East, while Osseo, Hopkins and Eastview each won by double digits.
Edina led Duluth East by two points as Julia Good stepped to the free-throw line for a one-and-one with 3.5 seconds to play.
Good was great. Twice.
Her clutch free throws sealed a 50-46 victory for the No. 2 seed Hornets in Wednesday's Class 4A state tournament girls' basketball quarterfinal game at Target Center.
"I was really happy for her because she was in that situation a month ago and it didn't go well," teammate MC McGrory said. "The first thing she said after today was she didn't want to have that happen again."
McGrory set the right tone, hitting both of her free throws to give Edina (26-4) a 48-46 lead with 18 seconds to play. She poured in 26 points, including 17 in the second half on 7-for-11 shooting.
"I just wanted to stay aggressive," McGrory said. "They were playing really well, and we had to do whatever we could to keep up with them."
Duluth East led 44-42 with 4:09 to play in a second half that featured six lead changes. Shamika Hopkins (15 points), Alex Freeman (14) and Elena Lushine (10) led the Greyhounds. The Greyhounds (22-6) missed a short jumper with 4 seconds left that would have tied the score.
"We got exactly what we wanted on that play, but we couldn't get it to go," Duluth East coach Bill Kunze said.
Katybeth Biewen added 16 points for Edina, which defeated the Greyhounds for the second time this season.
DAVID LA VAQUEOsseo 68, White Bear Lake 41
Travel issues prevented White Bear Lake's 11-member cheerleading contingent from showing up on time for the Bears' quarterfinal game with unseeded Osseo. But all the rah-rah-sis-boom-bah on the planet wouldn't have been enough to stop the potent 1-2 attack of the Orioles' Olivia Antilla and Phillis Webb.
Their inside presence helped limit No. 3 seed White Bear Lake to shoot just a tick above 30 percent for the game. On the other end of the floor, the two outscored the whole Bears team.
Even after Osseo (25-5) climbed to a 17-point lead at halftime, the Orioles didn't take their foot off the gas pedal. Antilla drove for a layup on the first possession of the second half and scored 10 of the team's next 12 points from there to all but put the game out of reach.
Webb finished with a game-high 22 points.
"You never want to be happy when you know you can do more and do better," Antilla, who finished with 20 points, said of her second-half surge. "So we won't be satisfied until that championship game."
If Osseo keeps this up in Thursday's semifinal with Edina, it will get there with an undeniable swagger.
Poised throughout against the Bears (23-7), the Orioles played the part of a team out to prove a point in award-winning fashion.
"They played with a chip on their shoulder; they know what they are," coach Joey Waters said. "But they also know nothing is handed to them. They had to work hard for everything they got."
Janay Morton got into early foul trouble but still finished with a double-double for the Orioles.
BRIAN STENSAASHopkins 51, Lakeville North 29
First she took over the second half, then Nia Coffey took a deep sigh of relief when the job was complete.
The Hopkins junior scored 12 of her game-high 18 points in the second half to lead the top-seed Royals (29-1) over Lakeville North (21-9).
"It was difficult for us and I'm glad that ..." Coffey exhaled, "we fought through."
The final score might not reflect it, but the consensus from the Hopkins side was the game was about as tough a quarterfinal draw as the Royals could get.
"I've been here a few [seven] times and this is the toughest I've had," Hopkins coach Brian Cosgriff said. "I knew coach [Andy] Berkvam would have them well-prepared. Everything about their team scares me."
Lakeville North, the 2010 big-school champion, played competitive early. A nagging defensive attack forced defending champion Hopkins to rush shots from the outside, and the Royals went 0-for-7 from three-point range in the first half as result. They instead attacked the basket in the second, attempting just three long-range shots. The one make was from Coffey, her final points of the game.
The Panthers opened the second half on a 5-0 run to tie the top-seeded Royals 17-17 before Coffey scored the first seven points of the half for Hopkins. It led to an eventual 20-2 run that blew the game open. Lakeville North went more than seven minutes down the stretch without a point.
Coffey was also big on defense for the Royals, swatting seven of Hopkins' 10 blocks and grabbing nine rebounds.
"There are only so many ways to attack them," Berkvam lamented.
BRIAN STENSAASEastview 55, St. Michael-Albertville 41
Off-balance shots and failed layup attempts throughout the first half prepared St. Michael-Albertville coach Kent Hamre for what the statistics would make clear.
Eastview's defense was dictating the game, causing the Knights frustration that Hamre had not seen since early-season games against Hopkins and Bloomington Kennedy.
"We were forcing a lot in the first half, and it was pretty evident because we shot 22 percent," Hamre said. "Their defense took us out of a lot of things that we like to do."
An early 9-1 run gave the fourth-seeded Lightning (25-5) a double-digit lead it would hold much of the game.
"We pride ourselves on defense," Eastview coach Melissa Guebert said. "The kids were really aware of who the shooter was."
Guebert's freshman daughter, Madison, scored 10 points in the first half. She tied Paige Palkovich for the team high with 15. Amber Mehr added 10 points -- all in the second half.
"We're counting on our seniors right now, and she did a nice job," Melissa Guebert said.
Senior standout Christine Thorn scored a game-high 19 points and hit five three-pointers for St. Michael-Albertville (22-8). She kept her team afloat by scoring nine of its points on three-pointers during one stretch.
"She was doing whatever she could to not let her season end," Hamre said.
DAVID LA VAQUE