March Madness starts early for Fillmore Central
Fillmore Central sprung its second postseason upset of the week, but Monday's win — 56-49 over top-seeded Rushford-Peterson — came in stunning fashion. FC fell behind 22-7 as R-P star Brianna Koop attacked the rim relentlessly to start the game. However, the…
Fillmore Central sprung its second postseason upset of the week, but Monday's win — 56-49 over top-seeded Rushford-Peterson — came in stunning fashion.
FC fell behind 22-7 as R-P star Brianna Koop attacked the rim relentlessly to start the game. However, the Falcons closed the half on a huge run to pull within 29-23. Reserve guard Madison Scheevel's third of her five treys put the Falcons ahead 41-39 halfway through the second half and the Trojans never regained the lead.
R-P actually shot better at the line than FC — 16-26 v 12-25 — but the timing of the Trojans' misses proved critical. I had them for seven straight misses during crunch time, including three front ends.
The Falcons ended the regular season on a four-game skid, but have since knocked off 19-win teams Randolph and Rushford-Peterson, the defending subsection champ and top seed. For context, Fillmore Central went 0-3 against those teams in the regular season, losing by an average 14 points.
Next up for Fillmore Central is 18-win Kingsland, which defeated Mabel-Canton 63-43 in Monday's other game.
Player of the Game — Madison Scheevel, FC
The 5-4 sophomore guard may have dribbled fewer times than shots she hit, but she was deadly with her feet set. She came off the bench to score 17 points on a five treys and a putback. She actually hit three triples and scored her putback in about a 4-minute span in the second half to totally change the game. This may end up being the game of her life, but it certainly came at a good time.
Play of the Game
Scheevel hit a 3 to put FC up 44-40 and R-P looked like it was on the verge of getting knocked out. Then Koop scored while being fouled, but missed the free throw. The Trojans secured the board and scored again for an unusual 4-point play to the the game with about 3 minutes to play. Scheevel quickly squashed that momentum by drilling another triple on the other end.
Floor General — Kenzie Broadwater, FC
The senior point guard only scored 5 points and didn't really look for her shot, but she might have been the Falcons most important player. She's built like a tank and was extremely aggressive, taking it to the talented-but-skinny R-P guards. She also showed very impressive wheels by tracking down numerous Trojans in transition to prevent easy buckets.
Defensive Player of the Game — Tayah Barnes, FC
The Falcons leading scorer used quick hands and good instincts to supplement her nice perimeter stroke. She finished with a team-high 19 points, including three triples. I had for four steals, including two that led directly to layups. She's not overly quick, but she showed an advanced basketball IQ and wanted the ball in crunch time to hit the clinching free throws. She's headed to Augsburg next year for volleyball.
High post all-star — Brianna Koop, R-P
There's no secret about R-P's offense — it comes and goes with Koop. She dominated early with a series of drives to the hoop, twice finishing through contact to give the Trojans a big early lead. She finished with 21 while working almost exclusively in the paint against FC's 2-3 zone. The Trojans converted just 1-11 from deep, giving her very little room to work. The 5-8 star finished her career with more than 2,000 points and is headed to UW-River Falls next year. It'll be interesting to see how her game translates at the next level.
Scrappy seniors — Mikayla Crawford and Savannah Skalet, R-P
These two have been putting up big numbers all season for the Trojans, consistently playing bigger than they look. However, they struggled Monday. Crawford still scored 13 points, but Skalet was in foul trouble most of the night and managed just 7. They're both good shooters, but Skalet hit the team's only three. Disappointing finish for a team that was in our Top 20 a good chunk of the season and hoped to challenge Goodhue/Lyle.
Up-and-comer — Kjersta Hinz, R-P
She didn't start and didn't even score, but her athleticism caught my eye. She's a fluid 5-10 athlete who moves extremely well. The Trojans graduate basically all of their offense, so she could be a breakout star next season.