No. 2 Grand Meadow girls basketball team outlasts No. 3 Randolph's tough defense

In a grind of a semifinal game, Grand Meadow figured out a way against Randolph. And now it will meet Hayfield for the right to get to state.

grand meadow randolph
Grand Meadow's Lexy Foster (33) looks for a pass during the Superlarks Section 1A semifinal game against Randolph Saturday, March 4, 2023, at the Mayo Civic Auditorium.
Abby Sharpe / Post Bulletin

ROCHESTER — Sydney Cotten didn’t find her shooting rhythm until the final minutes wound off the clock during No. 2 Grand Meadow's Section 1A girls basketball semifinal against No. 3 Randolph on Saturday.

Coach Ryan Queensland was more than fine with that, for one reason only.

“Clutch,” he said, following the Superlarks’ 44-36 win.

It’s the only way to describe Cotten’s first 3-pointer as the clock showed 5 minutes left and Randolph within six points with plenty of time to grab the lead.

Then, with 2 minutes left, Cotten drained a long 3-pointer that lit up the crowd and put the Superlarks just out of the Rockets’ reach.


The offense that gave Grand Meadow (27-2) the win was the opposite of the first half.

The score stayed close the entire first half, with Randolph (19-10) taking a 14-12 lead into the locker room. It was a quintessential defensive battle.

The first half also was a perfect illustration of why some fans are excited about the shot clock.

Grand Meadow put on a passing clinic in two of its closing possessions of the first half. The Superlarks were up against a stout Randolph defense that undoubtedly did what coach Dennis Trom asked.

“They definitely scouted us well,” junior Lexy Foster said. “They played really, really tough defense. They weren't going to give us anything easy.”

There were no easy shots for Grand Meadow. Randolph played more man coverage Saturday compared to its game against the Superlarks on Feb. 6.

“They were up tight and physical,” Queensland said. “We missed some early shots, kind of got out of our rhythm. The first half was really a grind. We match up well with them size wise, position wise. It was blow for blow.”

Queensland opted not to make adjustments during the first half, knowing Trom would use halftime to fix the Rockets' game plan accordingly.


The decision paid off, with the teams trading points until Grand Meadow freshman Gracie Foster hit a three with 11:15 remaining to tie the score at 22. The Superlarks took the lead shortly after and never gave it up.

“They found each other on the floor. I'm super proud of this squad,” Queensland said. “All year, this team has been playing for each other. And the second half, especially, they found each other, played for each other. And that's why we get to keep dancing.”

The Superlarks do get to play further into March, just as they did last season. And the Section 1A championship game will, again, be against No. 1 Hayfield, Thursday, March 9 at the Mayo Civic Center.

The Vikings edged Grand Meadow 49-46 in late December, one of the Superlarks’ two losses this season.

But this rematch is exactly what the team wanted.

“(It means) everything,” Foster said. “From the beginning of the season, we were like this is the start of our journey to this (point), and we're going to give it everything we have. We’ll be prepared and ready to go.”

Queensland knows what his team will need to do to beat Hayfield: Defend the "three." Handle defensive pressure. Get the Vikings in a half-court game. Stay out of foul trouble.

But none of that mattered Saturday.


“(We’ve) made it this far in the season. Every game is a blessing,” Queensland said. “It’s just a wonderful opportunity for these kids. We’ll just take it day by day and enjoy it. It's awesome.”

Grand Meadow 44, Randolph 36
Anna Olsen 13 P, 1 3-PT; Paige Ford 4 P; Emily Coonrod 10 P; Allie Gillette 9 P, 1 3-PT.
Lauren Queensland 8 P, 7 R; Sydney Cotten 9 P, 2 3-PT; Kendyl Queensland 2 P; Gracie Foster 5 P, 1 3-PT; Rebeca Hoffman 4 P; Lexy Foster 16 P, 2 3-PT.
Halftime: RAND 14, GM 12.
Free throws: RAND 2-4, GM 11-14.
Three-point goals: RAND 2, GM 5.

Abby Sharpe joined the Post Bulletin in February 2022 after graduating from Arizona State University with a sports journalism degree. While at ASU, she created short- and long-form stories for audio and digital. Readers can reach Abby at 507-285-7723 or
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