MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Tyseanna Johnson scored 14 of her 25 points in the second half and DeLaSalle pulled away to beat Red Wing 65-50 Saturday and win the Class 3A girls basketball state championship.
DeLaSalle has struggled with free throws all season. But with a third straight state championship on the line the Islanders were solid from the stripe. Allina Starr added 20 points for the second-seeded Islanders (28-4), who went on a decisive 15-2 run midway through the second half. DeLaSalle, a Catholic high school in Minneapolis, did not make a basket in the final seven minutes, but made 17 of 20 free throws, including nine during the game-changing run.
“It was focus,” said Starr, who made 10 of 13 free throws during the stretch and finished 14 of 22 from the line. “We just knew that we had to put them down and focus on the line.”
“We knew if we made our free throws this would be our game,” added Johnson, an Iowa State recruit who made all four of her free throws down the stretch.
Coach Faith Johnson Patterson said the team has focused on free-throw shooting in practices for the past month.
“They clamped down, they focused and they made them when it mattered the most. I couldn’t be more proud of them,” she said.
Macy Kelly led fifth-seeded Red Wing (23-8) with 17 points. Tesha Buck and McKenzie Muelken each had 13 for the Wingers. Buck had 16 rebounds.
“They’ve got a lot of horsepower and we gave them a heck of a fight,” said coach Dave Muelken. “In the second half, we just never made the big shot or the big play to get that spark back.”
Starr, who has signed to play with Auburn, played the final 11 minutes with four fouls.
“It was a lack of focus,” she said. “I didn’t want to foul out, but I had to keep playing hard.”
DeLaSalle scored the game’s first 10 points — five by Starr — before Red Wing went on a 9-2 run to get within 13-9. The Islanders remained ahead by seven to nine points most of the first half, until two free throws by McKenna Schaffer capped an 11-0 Red Wing run to tie the game with 41.2 seconds left.
“We still had the momentum and were still in control. I knew I just had to get these guys to maintain their composure, settle down a little bit and play smart,” Johnson Patterson said. “Tyseanna Johnson and Allina Starr are so athletic … I knew those guys couldn’t guard them, so we just kind of spread the floor and basically let them go one-on-one and just try to take as much time off the clock as possible.”
Richfield beat Monticello 64-39 for third place.
(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)