Senior Katie Huttunen scored a game-high 26 points, but the Sebeka Lady Trojans saw their season come to an end with a 60-56 loss to Nicollet in the quarterfinals of the 2011 State Class A Girls' Basketball Tournament.
The Lady Trojans were playing in their first state tournament game in school history.
Sebeka led 15-9 midway through the first half, but the Raiders went on a 15-point run to take a 24-15 lead. The Lady Trojans went scoreless for nearly eight full minutes before Huttunen broke the drought with a free throw with 54 seconds left in the half.
Nicollet led 26-18 at the break.
The Raiders shot a blistering 48 percent (11-23) in the first half, while Sebeka was just 6-for-23 (26%).
The second half saw Nicollet build the lead up to 16 points (45-29) with just under 11 minutes to play. But the Lady Trojans scored eight straight points to pull to within 45-37.
Sebeka could not get any closer and the Raiders led by 12 at 60-48 with 2:00 remaining.
The Lady Trojans scored the last eight minutes of the game, but ran out of time at the end.
"Nicollet played a good diamond-and-one defense and hit key shots when we were coming back in the second half," said Sebeka head coach Mike Heino.
For the game, Nicollet shot 45 percent from the field, including a 6-of-9 day on its three-point attempts. Sebeka went 0-for-10 from outside the arc and finished 22-62 (35.5%) overall.
In addition to her 26 points, Huttunen added six rebounds and seven steals in her final game as a Lady Trojan. Junior Alicia Boe had 14 points, eight boards and six assists. Junior Jessica Lillquist corralled a team-high nine rebounds, while adding four points.
"Katie responded well to the defensive openings in the middle, but we missed too many layups and a couple defensive rebounds in key situations," Heino explained.
Nicollet had three players in double figures. Anna Skrien led the Raiders with 16 points, with Kayla Wenner scoring 12. Tailor Raymond had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
"All good things must come to and end," concluded Heino. "We had a great season."