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Girls' basketball powers through first two subsection contests

Two wins to open the Section 2AA North playoffs clinched a 20-win season for the Glencoe-Silver Lake girls’ basketball team and also set up a subsection final rematch against Norwood Young America.
The second-seeded Panthers easily dispatched with No. 7 seed Belle Plaine on Tuesday, Feb. 27, before overcoming an upset-minded sixth seed in GFW three nights later.
After thumping the Tigers 71-36 on Feb. 15, GSL allowed the visitors to hang around for a bit of the first half before dropping the hammer with a 43-24 second half to win by 26 points in the playoff opener.
Guard McKenna Monahan led all scorers with 23 points in the Panthers’ final home game of the season, with backcourt mate Miah Monahan registering 18 points.
Eleven GSL players scored in all, including nine points from guard Olivia Lemke, seven points for guard Alison Kettner and forward Kasidy Cacka, and six points for forward Kaitlyn Uecker.
The playoff venue shifted to Prior Lake High School for the 2AA North semifinals on Friday, March 2.
After top-seeded NYA blew out No. 5 seed Jordan 54-22, the Panthers faced a mighty challenge from sixth-seeded GFW.
GSL, which defeated the Thunderbirds 64-27 on Dec. 28, took a quick 6-0 lead to open the contest. However, GFW rallied to take a 9-8 lead midway through the first half.
Miah Monahan recovered from a turnover under the Panther basket with a steal and a layup to put GSL up 10-9 with just over seven minutes remaining in the half.
The Panthers never trailed again from that point. However, the Thunderbirds remained close until halftime, with GSL leading just 26-21 at the break.
GSL took its first double-digit lead at 32-21 just 90 seconds into the second half, but GFW slashed that edge to just three points at 34-31 five minutes later.
That proved to be the Thunderbirds’ final charge, and a McKenna Monahan layup midway through the second half gave the Panthers a lasting double-digit lead at 42-31.
McKenna Monahan, who also hit the 2,000-point mark for her high school career in the game, led all scorers with 23 points, with Miah Monahan chipping in 16 points and Lemke netting 13 points.
GSL outscored GFW 21-17 from there to take the contest by 15 points and advance to the 2AA North final for the second consecutive year, setting up the rematch with the Raiders.
NYA has ended GSL’s season in three of the past four campaigns, with two of those losses coming in the subsectional final.
Last season, the Raiders topped the Panthers by a 62-53 score and ended GSL’s hopes of advancing to the section final.
The 2AA North final, played on Tuesday, March 6, after the Chronicle went to press, was the second time this season the two teams played. NYA defeated the visiting Panthers 55-44 on Jan. 20.
Tuesday’s winner advances to the Section 2AA final against either St. Peter or Blue Earth Area at 8 p.m. Friday night at Minnesota State University in Mankato.