MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — After falling in the state quarterfinals a year ago, Miki Lee knew Ada-Borup was going to have a successful 2014-15 season.
But going 32-0? No way.
“I thought we could pull it together, not undefeated,” said Lee after scoring 22 points to lead the Cougars to an 82-65 win Saturday over Maranatha Christian Academy (29-4) in the Class 1A final at Williams Arena.
“It doesn’t even feel real,” she said.
Ada-Borup (32-0), who also got 20 points from Elizabeth Birkemeyer, is the only high school basketball team — boys’ or girls’ — to win every game this season. They did it out-scoring their opponents by an average of 41.7 points per game.
They had two close games, a 55-51 win over Hawley in the regular season, and a 54-52 nail-biter over Lyle/Austin Pacelli in Friday’s semifinals. The winning points came with seven seconds left on a basket from the paint by Lee, who’s attending North Dakota State for track and field.
The Cougars won their third state championship, and first since winning in 2008 and 2009. They completed the perfect season Saturday by relying on defense, holding Maranatha to 29 percent shooting. They also failed to make any 3-pointers Saturday.
“We talked about today, we had to win the majority of the possessions,” said Maranatha coach Chris Buerman. “Today, we did not.”
Second-seeded Ada-Borup built a 32-13 lead in the opening minutes. But Maranatha (29-4) used a late spurt to cut the lead at the half to 40-30, thanks to back-to-back 3-pointers from Lexi Lee and Jaclyn Jarnot.
But that was as close as the Mustangs would get the rest of the way, failing to make a basket in the first seven minutes of the second half. Every time they were able to get within striking distance, Maranatha would come up empty on a possession and the Cougars would answer with a basket of their own.
“We knew they would want to run, and we knew they had a strong press,” said Haley Pohler, who had a game-high 18 rebounds. “We needed to take care of the ball and looked to push it. We got some easy buckets off that.”
Jarnot scored 10 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for Maranatha, which was the top seed and came up short in its bid for a third state title.
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