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Lake City falls to New London-Spicer, 78-49, in first state tournament game since 1984

The Wildcats' senior tandem of Emma Hansen and Mackenzie Rich combined for 49 points while the Tigers had no answer on the other end.

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Lake City guard Ella Matzke tries to make a move past a New London-Spicer defender during a Class AA state quarterfinal girls baskeball game in Hastings on Tuesday. (Photo courtesy of Joe Brown, West Central Tribune)
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CHANHASSEN— A magical season for Lake City came to an abrupt end in the program’s first state tournament game since 1984.

The Tigers ran into the top-ranked and undefeated New London-Spicer Wildcats (22-0), who from tip-off of their Class AA girls basketball state quarterfinal game, displayed their dominance on Tuesday. New London-Spicer defeated Lake City, 74-49, behind the performances of senior guards Emma Hansen and Mackenzie Rich.

Tigers’ junior guard Natalie Bremer led the team in scoring with 15 points, and the team’s lone senior, Grace Bany, finished with 11 points.

RELATED: Lake City ready to tackle top team in state in state tournament opener

The Wildcats are now the only remaining unbeaten team in the Class AA state tournament and will play Providence Academy in the semifinals.

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“Yeah, just a very humbling experience," Tigers coach Clay Olstad said. "The girls are obviously sticking together as a team like we have all season win, lose or draw like always, but it was just, you know, we had a rough first half and it just didn't go the way, the way we wanted it to obviously.”

Hansen and Rich matched Lake City’s scoring themselves, combining for 49 points with Hansen scoring 26 and Rich nearly matching it with 23. In the first half alone, the two each scored 20 points and netted six 3s.

“We tried a little bit everything,” said Olstad, whose team finished the season with a 19-4 record. "No matter what defense we're in; I mean they both had six made 3s in the first half and they were shooting real good, and they made some really deep ones, too."

033121.S.WCT.LC GBB Natalie Bremer.JPG
Lake City guard Natalie Bremer gets off a shot against New London-Spicer on Tuesday in the Class AA girls state basketball quarterfinals. (Photo courtesy of Joe Brown, West Central Tribune)

The Tigers’ normally stingy defense had no answer for the long-range marksmanship of Hansen and Rich in the first half. After the Tigers scored the first basket of the game, the Wildcats scored 14 unanswered points and only stretched the lead from there.

Hansen and Rich took turns draining deep 3 after deep 3 against the Lake City 2-3 zone defense that pushed New London-Spicer’s lead to more than 30 points by the halftime buzzer.

“I would say we came out a little flat that first half and they played probably one of their best halves of the season,” Olstad said.

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On the other end, the Tigers couldn’t find anywhere near the same type of success. Three-pointers that were falling for the Wildcats were rimming out for the Tigers. Any penetration into their opponent's 2-3 zone led to either turnovers or missed shots around the rim.

“I think we were getting good shots, it kind of just had the cap on the bucket and we were missing quite a few,” Olstad said.

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Lake City center Mya Shones connects in close against New London-Spicer. (Photo courtesy of Joe Brown, West Central Tribune)

The Tigers came out in the second half looking much more aggressive on both ends of the court. They initially switched from their 2-3 zone into playing an aggressive man-to-man to try and limit the 3-point barrage that was being bestowed upon them from Hansen and Rich.

And more aggressive play around the rim offensively led to Lake City trading baskets with New London-Spicer early on in the second frame, but a 30-point deficit still loomed for the remainder of the game.

The message to his team in the locker room was simple for Olstad as he returns almost the entirety of a roster that gave the school its best season in 37 years.

"We took a moment just to reflect on all the accomplishments that the girls had this season," Olstad said. "I know it stinks to lose your last game and whatnot, but it's just we have nothing to be ashamed of. We had a great season, and we're proud of the girls in on our team.

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"You can see that they still look hungry, and it's just a motivation for the offseason."

New London-Spicer 78, Lake City 49

NEW LONDON-SPICER (78)

Emma Hansen 26 P, 7 3PT; Mackenzie Rich 23 P, 6 3PT; Avery Rich 10 P, 2 3PT; Ava Kramer 4 P.

LAKE CITY (49)

Natalie Bremer 15 P, 1 3PT; Grace Bany 10 P; Mya Shones 4 P; Lilly Meincke 7 P, 1 3PT.

Halftime: NLS 49, LC 14

Three-point field goals: NLS 15, LC 2

Related Topics: BASKETBALLGIRLS BASKETBALL
Erich is a digital content producer at the Post Bulletin where he creates content for the Post Bulletin's digital platforms. Before he moved to Rochester, Erich worked as a sports reporter for Rivals.com covering the University of Illinois' athletic programs in Champaign, Illinois. Readers can reach Erich at 507-285-7681 or efisher@postbulletin.com.
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