Five days of high school basketball tournament games began Tuesday morning with girls' semifinal games at Target Center.
The game set up championships in Class 1A, 2A and 3A. Class 4A semifinals will be played Wednesday, along with a full slate of boys' games. Click on links for score updates and postgame reports:
Playing in the semifinals of the state tournament for the first time, poised Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa held on for a 51-50 victory over Sleepy Eye St. Mary's on Tuesday at Target Center.
The Jaguars, led by seniors Alissa Knight and Josie Knutson, withstood a comeback by Sleepy Eye St. Mary's in the final three minutes to advance to the state championship game for the first time.
"We have gotten great senior leadership," Jaguars coach Kristina Anderson said. "This team trusts each other."
Abby Hennen and Natalee Rolbiecki combined to rescue Minneota on Tuesday.
Hennen, a 5-9 senior guard playing in her fourth state tournament, and Rolbiecki, a 5-11 junior forward, combined for all but three of Minneota's second-half points as the Vikings rallied late for a 54-53 victory over Mountain Iron-Buhl in a Class 1A semifinal at Target Center.
Hennen's free throw with 2.1 seconds left capped a game-ending 7-0 run for the Vikings (24-0), who trailed 53-47 with 2:30 left.
Paige Meyer is one of the best kept girls' basketball secrets in the state.
Albany's 5-6 senior guard methodically picked apart Glencoe-Silver Lake's defense, igniting a 20-2 run late in the first half en route to a 72-49 victory in a Class 2A semifinal Tuesday at Target Center.
Albany (23-1) held a 26-24 lead nearing the six-minute mark of the first half when Meyer took over the game. The South Dakota State recruit had 11 points, two assists and two steals during the spurt, capping it with an old-fashioned three-point play with four seconds left in the half.
"Paige is a tremendous basketball player," Albany coach Aaron Boyum said. "The number of things she can do on the offensive and defensive ends of the court is phenomenal."
Grace Counts was having a fairly quiet day for Providence Academy. That was until the game was on the line.
The sophomore forward blocked a potential go-ahead three-pointer in the waning seconds, helping Providence Academy knock off No. 1-ranked New London-Spicer 58-54 in the Class 2A girls' basketball state tournament semifinals at Target Center.
Counts stayed in good position and didn't leave her feet before using her height advantage to block Mackenzie Rich's three-pointer with six seconds left, and the Lions (22-1) holding a 56-54 lead. Rich had a game-high 18 points, including three three-pointers. She then sank two game-sealing free throws with 2.4 seconds left.
Lions seventh-grader and leading-scorer Maddyn Greenway scored eight consecutive points in the second half, turning a one-point deficit into a 41-34 lead.
Marshall guard Jordyn Hilgemann found her game after halftime, scoring 25 of her game-high 30 points in the second half to lead the undefeated Tigers.
Marshall struggled with its shooting well into the second half, but started finding the range midway through. Trailing 45-38, Hilgemann keyed a 17-1 run, turning a seven-point deficit into 55-46 advantage. She had 10 points in the pivotal run.
Junior guard Ashleigh Steinbach added 16 points for Marshall (22-0), which made 17 of 19 free throws down the stretch to pull away.
Senior Frankie Vascellaro led Holy Angels, which was making its sixth consecutive state tournament appearance, with 19 points.
Becker ran around and through No. 1-ranked Hill-Murray from the opening tipoff, jumping out to a 16-0 lead and never let Pioneers see a glimmer of hope in cruising to a 84-51 victory in a Class 3A semifinal at Target Center.
Julia Bengtson had 19 points and Adeline Kent 18 for Becker, which qualified for the Class 3A championship game for the third consecutive season. The Bulldogs lost to DeLaSalle in the finals in 2019 and didn't get the opportunity to play for a title in 2020 before the pandemic shut down the tournament a day before they would have played.
Hill-Murray, which got 27 points from junior guard Ella Runyon, had its 20-game winning streak broken.
More on the tournament: