Three was a good number for the Stars on Thursday night.
Holy Angels, the top seed in Class 3A, Section 3, won its third consecutive section championship in girls' basketball, beating second-seeded Simley 41-40 at Bloomington Jefferson High School. And it was a missed three-pointer at the end that let the Stars escape with a win.
Simley's Sydney Runsewe had an open three with seconds remaining, but the shot bounced off the rim and the Spartans were unable to corral an offensive rebound.
Nine points in a row from Francesca Vascellaro early in the second half helped the Stars pull away a bit after coming out of the break cold. Vascellaro finished with 13 points to lead the Stars. Kaylie VanDerWerf had eight points and 14 rebounds and Destinee Oberg added six points and 12 rebounds.
Tiwaah Danso had 14 points and 12 rebounds to lead Simley. Sydney Stensgard had 11 points, including two free throws that pulled the Spartans within one point in the waning seconds of the game.
Cretin-Derham Hall 54, Woodbury 52: After trailing by as many as 10 points in the second half, the Raiders came back with a furious rally to win the Class 4A, Section 4 title at Hastings High School.
The Raiders clinched a state tournament berth for the first time since 2003 thanks to Autam Mendez. She had 11 points in the second half and finished with a team-high 17 points to go along with nine rebounds.
Despite playing most of the game in foul trouble, Cretin-Derham Hall's Frannie Hottinger finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds.
The Royals had three players score in double figures — Rachel Hakes had 17 points, Solape Amusan 15 and Lizzy Dodge 11.
Maple Grove 59, St. Michael-Albertville 56 (OT): Jordyn Lamker led the Crimson to an upset of the top-seeded Knights in the final of Class 4A, Section 8 with 18 points while Autumn Mlinar had 16 points and Katrina Theis 12. Mackenzie Kramer led the Knights with 17 points, Jadyn Hanson had 14 points and Kendal Cox 10.
Forest Lake 52, Anoka 45: The second-seeded Rangers upset the top-seeded Tornadoes in the Class 4A, Section 7 title game to reach the state tournament for the third time in school history. The Rangers were last in the state tournament in 2001. Maddy Rice and Abigail Groeneweg led the Rangers with 13 points while Abby Leach had 12 and Lexie Hultman 10. Lily Schoknecht led the Tornadoes with 14.
Lakeville North 65, Farmington 43: The Panthers overcame a slow start to defeat the Tigers in the Class 4A, Section 1 final at Mayo Civic Arena. The Tigers jumped out to an early 17-5 lead, but the Panthers took over from there. Lauren Jensen led the Panthers with 22 points and Analiese Tschida had 15. Kaitlin Winston led the Tigers with 12 points and Ellie Clayton had 10.
Grand Rapids 74, Chisago Lakes 54: The Thunderhawks won the Class 3A, Section 7 title for the third consecutive year. Heaven Hamling led the Thunderhawks with 28 points. Heather Elfering led the Wildcats with 16 points and Carmen Backes had 14. Liberty Blaine had 14 points and Hannah DeMars 12 for the Thunderhawks.
Mankato West 47, Waseca 37: The Scarlets are headed to the state tournament for the first time after pulling away from the Bluejays in the final minutes of the Class 3A, Section 2 title game. The Bluejays were within four points with 3:30 left to play, but the Scarlets went on an 11-5 run to close the game. Holly Wiste led the Scarlets with 13 points and Ashley Gustavson had 11. Gus Boyer led the Bluejays with 13 points.
Willmar 53, Zimmerman 39: The Cardinals defeated the Thunder in the Class 3A, Section 5 final to reach the state tournament for the second consecutive season and eighth time overall. Hannah Johnson led the Cardinals with 15 points while Cayle Hovland had 13 and Carly Wedel 11. Alyssa Daugherty led the Thunder with 19 points.