Lions face Ponies in state tournament
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 5:55 AM
Half of the eight-team Class A field will be at state for the first time, including state-ranked no. 4 Spring Grove (27-3) from Section 1A and unranked Warren-Alvarado-Oslo (26-4) representing Section 8A.
However before consolidating, Warren competed in the 1980 state tournament. The Ponies' playoff wins have come with scores in order of 70-43, 55-31, 50-30 and 52-28 while the Lion postseason path results were 73-20, 62-18, 67-35 and 69-64.
All four Class A quarterfinal games are on Thursday, March 15 at Williams Arena on the campus of the University of Minnesota. The Lions and Ponies tip off in the last game at 5 p.m., a contest which features the career scoring leader from each program.
W-A-O senior center Sarah Durand, her team's all-time leading scorer, paces the Ponies with an average of 13.7 points and 9.9 rebounds per game. Junior forward Alexandra Erickson contributes 10.8 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. Senior guard Angie Erickson adds 10.6 points per contest.
The Lions' Richell Mehus averages 23.0 points, 8.4 rebounds, 5.2 steals and 4.9 assists per game. The senior guard holds the SG career record for both scoring (1,661 points) and steals (463). Senior point guard Taylor Elton adds 14.5 points plus 4.9 assists per game and is the second Lion at state having surpassed 1,000 career points.
All four 2011 state champions are back to defend their titles including Maranatha Christian Academy of Brooklyn Park in Class A.
The season ends for the four quarterfinal losers while the winners play in the semi-finals at the Target Center on Friday, March 16. The SG/W-A-O winner plays in the second semi-final at 2 p.m. and then again on Saturday in either the 10 a.m. third-place game or the 12 p.m. state championship game.
To avoid standing in line on game day, advance tickets for Thursday's quarterfinal session are on sale at the Spring Grove school office until Wednesday, March 14 until approximately 11 a.m. For the multi-game session, the prices are $14 for adults and $9 for students with under school-age children admitted with no charge.