WATERTOWN, S.D. (KELO) — A pair of free throws from Aberdeen Roncalli’s Olivia Hanson help lift the Cavaliers past top-seeded St. Thomas More in the semifinal round of the class ‘A’ girls state tournament.
“We’re 32 game minutes away from being state champs, something that not a lot of people thought we were going to be here,” Aberdeen Roncalli head coach Derek Larson said. “We have really played well down the last stretch of the year.”
Friday’s game was a tight, defensive contest that resulted in a 36-35 win for Aberdeen Roncalli.
Roncalli led 34-33 with more than twenty seconds to play, but St. Thomas More’s standout senior, Haleigh Timmer, laid in two of her game high 27 points, giving STM a 35-34 lead.
St. Thomas More would get the ball back and have a one-and-one free throw attempt, but the first one was missed. Hanson would get the ball and attack the inside, drawing a foul with just one second to play.
The junior guard would connect on both free throws, giving Roncalli a 36-35 with a second to play.
“We had two really good looks and Olivia Hanson got to the rim and she made two really clutch free throws,” Larson said.
St. Thomas More’s shot attempt would not get off in time as Aberdeen Roncalli had earned a trip to their first state tournament championship.
“We had to make sure that we didn’t foul, because it would’ve been a one-and-one on the other end,” Larson said. “We just had to make sure not to foul and send them to the line and make sure we went straight up.”
Aberdeen Roncalli was led by Madelyn Bragg who finished with a double-double of 13 points and 12 rebounds.
The Cavaliers will now play #3 Hamlin who picked up a win over #2 Winner.