Superlarks team up to bring down Rockets, advance to second straight Section 1A title game

Published 3:05 pm Saturday, March 4, 2023

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ROCHESTER – The No. 2 seeded Grand Meadow girls basketball team showed how battle tested they are when the Superlarks outlasted No. 3 Randolph 44-36 in a Section 1A semifinal in Mayo Civic Auditorium Saturday.

Randolph’s Anna Olsen scored twice in a 15-second stretch to bring the Rockets (20-10 overall) within 40-36 with 1:20 left when GM senior Sydney Cotten drew a foul and calmly knocked down two free throws to make ice the game

Those weren’t the first big shots of the night for Cotten, who scored all nine of her points in the second half – including a three that put GM up 33-28 and another three that made it 38-32 with 2:15 left.

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“I wanted to make plays for my teammates and if my shots came, they came,” said Cotten, who also had four assists. “Playing here last year helped me stay calm throughout the whole game.”

GM (27-2 overall) never led by more than two points until the second half when it used a 7-0 run to go up 26-22 with 10:09 left. Gracie Foster ignited the run with a corner three, Lexy Foster scored on a put-back and Lauren Queensland hit two free throws.

Lexy Foster finished with 16 points and three steals for GM, which has now won 21 games in a row.

“I had so much trust in my teammates and all of our coaches prepared us really well for this game,” Foster said. “Randolph plays really tough defense and a lot of it was trust in each other on our part.”

Randolph opened the game on a 9-5 run over the first six minutes, but the Superlarks took a 10-9 lead when Gracie Foster scored shortly after a Lexy Foster three-pointer. GM scored just one more time over the last seven minutes of the first half as it trailed 14-12 at the break.

“That was good defense by Randolph. They were up tight and they were physical. The first half was a grind and it was blow for blow,” GM head coach Ryan Queensland said. “We had some adjustments we wanted to make and we didn’t want to make them too early. Randolph is a good team and we have two coaching staffs that really respect each other.”

GM will now play top-seeded Hayfield in the Section 1A title game at 6 p.m. Thursday in Mayo Civic Center. The Vikings beat the Superlarks in last year’s Section 1A title game.

“We’ve got to stop their three point shooting and keep them in a half court game,” Queensland said. “We’ve made it this far and every game is a blessing. I’m proud of our squad and we’re going to enjoy it.”

GM lost a close game in Hayfield in the regular season, and they’ll be looking for a different outcome on Thursday. GM has never played in a state tournament and this is just the second section title game appearance for the Superlarks.

“This means everything,” Lexy Foster said. “We’re going to give it everything we have.”

Randolph 14 22 – 36

GM 12 32 – 44

GM scoring: Lexy Foster, 16; Sydney Cotten, 9; Lauren Queensland, 8; Gracie Foster, 5; Rebecca Hoffman, 4; Kendyl Queensland, 2