After five consecutive years of reaching the girls' basketball state tournament, Minnehaha Academy saw its spot in next week's tournament in jeopardy in the final minutes of the Class 2A, Section 4 final.
But clutch play by Redhawks junior guard Mia Curtis gave her team a 72-69 victory over Concordia Academy on Friday at Anoka-Ramsey Community College.
"I looked up at the scoreboard and I saw that we were down, so I was like, 'We got to turn it on now,' " Curtis said.
Curtis made a three-point basket that gave Minnehaha Academy the lead with 6:45 left in the game. Though the Beacons tied the score about a minute later, the Redhawks (20-6) held on for the victory.
Curtis scored 16 points in the final eight minutes and led all scorers with 32.
"I thought my girls fought," Concordia coach Tiffany Stubbs said. "They had some players step up, and that's what great players do."
The Beacons (18-8) held a 35-34 lead at halftime, after scoring 18 of their first 24 points on three-point baskets. Guard Ivane Tensaie led the Beacons with 16 points, while forward Lydia Lecher recorded 10 rebounds and 11 points.
"We made some adjustments going into the second half, and I love the girls' perseverance," Minnehaha coach Matt Pryor said. "I told them it's a long game, and we were just able to outlast their runs."