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Bemidji Pioneer 

Warriors tame Gators, win 3rd section title in 4 years

 

Red Lake seniors Autumn Holthusen (23) and Lashun Roy (10) cheer as the team holds up the Section 8A championship trophy on Friday at Ralph Engelstad Arena in Thief River Falls. The Warriors defeated Badger/Greenbush-Middle River 64-54. (Hannah Olson / Bemidji Pioneer)

THIEF RIVER FALLS -- With the nylon to prove it, the Red Lake girls basketball team is returning to the state tournament.

The Warriors completed another successful run through the Section 8A field on Friday night, culminating in a 64-54 championship win over Badger/Greenbush-Middle River at Ralph Engelstad Arena in Thief River Falls.

Red Lake defended its championship crown from a year ago, good for the program's third section title in the past four years and its third in school history. The Warriors are now 15-1 in section games during that span.

Red Lake (21-9), seeded third in the East subsection, did it Friday night with an explosive second half, putting up 44 points to torch the nets it would cut down just moments later. The Warriors turned a one-point halftime deficit of 21-20 into a 10-point celebration after the final 18 minutes.

Autumn Holthusen led all scorers with 18 points for Red Lake, including 15 in the second half, while Gerika Kingbird and Kelanna McClain poured in 16 apiece to lead the charge.

The Gators (20-10), seeded fourth in the Section 8A West subsection, got a 15-point effort out of Kinsley Hanson, as well as 13 from Lexie Benke and 10 from Alyssa Rinde.

With seedings still to be determined, the Warriors will try for their first-ever state tournament win on Thursday, March 12, at Maturi Pavilion in Minneapolis.

Red Lake senior Autumn Holthusen (23) makes her way down the court alongside by BGMR's Jacey Wojchowski during the Section 8A championship on Friday at Ralph Engelstad Arena in Thief River Falls. (Hannah Olson / Bemidji Pioneer)

No. 3 Red Lake 64, No. 4 Badger/Greenbush-Middle River 54

BGMR 21 33 -- 54

RL 20 44 -- 64

BGMR (20-10) -- Hanson 15, Benke 13, Rinde 10, Koebernick 9, Wojchowski 5, Christian 2.

RED LAKE (21-9) -- Holthusen 18, G. Kingbird 16, K. McClain 16, Guise 5, R. McClain 4, Chaboyea 3, Roy 2.

 

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