Superlarks hit a slump in playoff loss

Published 9:20 pm Thursday, March 18, 2021

GRAND MEADOW — They tried to go inside, outside and around the Lanesboro defense, but the No. 7 seeded Grand Meadow girls basketball couldn’t score down the stretch as they lost to the No. 10 Burros in a Section 1A Tournament opener Thursday.

Sydney Cotten hit a jump shot to put GM up 31-29 with 9:38, but the Superlarks didn’t score for another seven minutes minutes when River Landers converted a lay-up to pull GM within 39-33 with 2:41 left. During that span, Lanesboro’s Sydney Taylor, who scored 14 points, converted multiple post moves for scores to help put her team up 39-31.

“If you look back at our whole season, that’s kind of been our achilles heel,” GM head coach Ryan Queensland said. “We have moments where we play well and then we have moments where we can’t buy a bucket. The effort has always been there, we just have hot and cold streaks. We have a young squad and they’re learning on the fly.”

GM had a chance to make things interesting late, but a costly turnover closed their window of opportunity.

Gina Stier pulled down on offensive rebound and found Cotten for a three-pointer that brought GM to within 41-37 with 1:06 left. Madison Hindt stole the ensuing in-bounds pass, but Lanesbro’s Mali Tessum came up with a steal for a lay-up that iced the game at 43-37 with 55 seconds left.

Cotten finished with eight points and four assists.

GM (9-8 overall) had swept the Burros (10-9 overall) — including a 51-30 win on Feb. 25 — but it wasn’t able to repeat that this time.

“Lanesboro did a nice job tonight and any time you see a team three times in one year, it makes things tricky,” Queensland said. “They were the better team tonight and you’ve got to tip your hat to them. They shot the ball and we didn’t. They did a nice job.”

The Superlarks have just two seniors and one junior who played big minutes as the team relies on a big sophomore class and freshman Lexy Foster, who had eight points Thursday, for much of their minutes.

“I’ve got to thank our seniors Madison (Hindt) and Gina (Stier). They played really hard all year long and throughout their careers. We appreciate their dedication to the program and they’re really going to be missed,” Queensland said. “The season didn’t end how we wanted it to, but we have the base to improve in the future.”

Lanesboro went up 23-18 when Jessie Schreiber connected on a three with 16:13 to go in the game, but GM answered as Foster hit two jump shots and Kendyl Queensland converted a drive for a score for a 6-0 spurt that made it 24-23 GM.

Both teams struggled on offense in the first half as GM had five turnovers in the first five minutes and trailed 8-5 early. The Larks battled back to take a 15-11 lead late in the first  half, but the Burros scored the last four points to even the score at 15 at the break.

Lanesboro 15  31  — 46

Grand Meadow 15  23  — 38

GM scoring: Lexy Foster, 8;  Sydney Cotten, 8; Gina Stier, 7; Kendyl Queensland, 6; River Landers, 4; Rebecca Hoffman, 2; McKenna Hendrickson, 2; Madison Hindt, 1; free throws: 23 percent (2-for-9); rebounds: 26 (Landers, 5); turnovers: 22