The Northfield Raiders girls basketball game against Kasson-Mantorville Saturday reminded me of the first Rocky movie.  Apollo Creed and Rocky go toe to toe slugging each other round after round.  The final several minutes of the Section 1AAA semifinal game each team hit clutch answer baskets before Northfield prevailed 56-53 when the KoMets couldn't connect on a three point attempt at the buzzer.

Defending Section Champion Raiders senior post Rachel Kelly hit a monster three point basket, reverse spin layup and two free throws in the final two minutes to will her team to the win.  Kelly finished with 21 points, 16 of them in the second half.  Sophomore Annika Richardson had 12 points for Northfield.

The good news for Kasson-Mantorville is their leading scorers will be back a couple more years.  Sophomores Avery Irish and Mya Suess led their team with 16 and 10 points each and 8th grade guard Aby Shubert drilled 3 three point baskets during the see saw stretch late in the game along with 2 three pointers from Irish.

Northfield led 23-14 at the half thanks in part to scoring 9 points off KoMets turnovers.  The KoMets shot some very deep three point baskets, 7 in the second half with most over the last six or seven minutes.  They finished the game with 8.

The Raiders answered the KoMets with some three point baskets of their own, 4 in the second half, 6 total.  The free throw line was the difference with Northfield connecting on 12 of 20 and Kasson-Mantorville 7 of 9 in the game.

In the other semifinal contest Austin defeated #1 ranked Red Wing 73-70.  This is a little over a week after Red Wing crushed the Packers by 33 points.  Wingers post Abi Deming however was injured in that game and could not play in the semifinal contest.

It was a great game also with each team trading buckets down the stretch.  The free throw line again key with Austin cashing in on 19 of 24 and Red Wing 4 of 6.  The Packers were 6 for 6 in the final 68 seconds of the game.  4 by junior Colie Justice and two from Hope Dudycha.

The freshman Dudycha twins (Hope and Emma) are very strong with the basketball.  The Packers had 5 turnovers in the game.

The Wingers finished their season 24-3 and the 20-8 Packers face 17-11 and defending Section Champion Northfield Friday at 6:00 p.m. in the Mayo Civic Arena in Rochester.

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