Stewartville senior guard Haylie Strum listed herself as questionable for Thursday's Class 3A semifinal against Becker.
She rolled an ankle and left early from Wednesday's quarterfinal. Cleared by a trainer in the hours before the Becker game, Strum ignored lingering pain to help lead her Tigers to a 60-59 upset of the top-seeded Bulldogs in the girls basketball state tournament in Williams Arena.
"I know it wasn't easy for her to go today," Stewartville coach Ryan Liffrig said. "She might not have been 100 percent, but she still affected the game in a huge way for us."
Strum said: "It hurt so bad. I was trying to not let the other team see me limping in warmups. But once the game started, after five minutes it was gone."
She finished with 13 points and four assists playing in a team-high 33 minutes, 16 seconds.
Her determination proved infectious for Stewartville, a state tournament newcomer that rallied from an 11-point deficit to stun Becker.
"It made us feel like, 'If Haylie, one of our number one players, can do it, we can do anything,' " said junior guard Savannah Hedin, who made a layup with 32 seconds left that proved to be the winning basket.
Becker (26-4) was aiming for its fifth consecutive state championship appearance. Bulldogs coach Dan Baird said Thursday marked the 13th state tournament game for his senior class. He figured the experience advantage would help Becker take control of a tight game.
No. 4 seed Stewartville (28-2) advances to the championship game Saturday.
"They did not play like they were nervous," Baird said of the Tigers. "They did not play like it was their first time at the state tournament. They played like veterans."