MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Rebekka and Hannah Dahlman are catching up to their brothers.
Rebekka scored 23 points and Hannah grabbed six rebounds to lead Braham past Minnehaha Academy 68-61 for the Bombers’ first Class 2A girls’ basketball state championship.
Their brothers are former all-state players Isaiah and Noah Dahlman, who helped Braham to three consecutive state titles.
“Isaiah called me this morning and gave me a huge pep talk,” Rebekka said. “Words can’t explain how I feel right now.”
She played a major role in the Bombers holding off several charges by the Redhawks, hitting 17 of 18 free throws, including five in the game’s final three minutes when Minnehaha Academy closed to within seven points.
“We cut the lead, and something bad would happen,” said Redhawks coach Josh Thurow. “We get a stop or two, but then couldn’t get the rebound or something quirky like that would happen.”
Braham was able to keep the Redhawks at arm’s length to gain a measure of revenge from last year’s final, in which Minnehaha Academy drilled the Bombers 64-46. In that game, the Redhawks’ Katelyn Adams had 21 points and 15 rebounds.
In Saturday’s loss she was held to seven points and eight rebounds.
“Not to say it was our turn, but we definitely wanted to hang one right next to those three boys’ ones,”` said Braham coach Tim Malone, whose assistant is Nate Dahlman — the father of Rebekka, Hannah, Isaiah and Noah, who won a combined four state basketball championships.
“Hopefully, next year we’ll get another one,” Rebekka said.
Braham (31-2) seemed poised for its own blowout win. The Redhawks tried to get back into the game, but the Bombers held off their charge with clutch shooting.
Minnehaha Academy (23-7) went on an 11-3 second-half run to reduce Braham’s 13-point lead to 38-33 with 12:36 left.
Braham then got consecutive 3-point baskets from Kayla Nickels and a basket and two free throws from Rebekka Dahlman to go back up 51-40.
The Redhawks never got closer than five points the rest of the way. Braham’s players celebrated the program’s first state title by storming the court.
Sarina Baker scored 25 for Minnehaha Academy. Gabbi Stienstra added 14.
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