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Menahga prevails, reaches 5A final

Walker-Hackensack-Akeley had the Menahga girls basketball team in an unusual situation midway through Tuesday night's Section 5A championship game at Wadena.

At the end, the Braves were back in familiar territory.

Menahga, which trailed at halftime for the first time this season, outscored the Wolves 42-24 in the second half for a 70-55 victory to improve to 29-0 and earn a trip to the Section 5A title game.

After the Wolves jumped out to a 12-4 lead behind two baskets apiece by Katie Benjamin and Bri Raddatz, Menahga used three layups by Megan Hendrickson and a layup by Cierra Ahlf to tie the game at 12-12.

Emma Deegan hit a 3-pointer as W-H-A claimed a 19-14 advantage before a layup and jumper by Hendrickson and a 3-pointer and free throw by Ahlf gave the Braves their first lead of the game at 22-21 with 4:38 to play in the first half.

Layups by Ahlf and Hendrickson made it 26-23 before layups by Megan Benjamin, Justine Day and Raddatz and a basket off a rebound by Bailey Nornberg gave the Wolves a 31-28 lead at the half.

That deficit was short-lived as the Braves opened the second half with a 14-2 run to take the lead for good.

Alyssa Peterson hit two free throws, Leah Schwartz hit a 3-pointer, Hendrickson scored inside, Ahlf made two free throws, and Peterson hit a jumper and 3-pointer to give Menahga a 42-33 advantage.

Two more inside baskets by Hendrickson made it 47-34 before two layups and four free throws by Raddatz cut the gap to 49-42.

A 3-pointer by Peterson, two free throws by Schwartz, and layups by Hendrickson, Peterson and Annie Lake pushed the lead to 60-45.

Lake, Ahlf, Hendrickson and Peterson combined to hit 10 of 13 free throws to offset four baskets by Day down the stretch to preserve the lead.

Hendrickson posted a double-double with 26 points and 11 rebounds while dishing out four assists while Ahlf finished with 16 points and six steals. Peterson also hit double figures by scoring all 14 of her points in the second half. Menahga, the No. 1 seed in the North, defeated the Wolves 77-45 on Dec. 28.

Day (18) and Raddatz (17) combined for 35 points for the No. 2-seeded Wolves, who turned the ball over 26 times and made only 1 of 12 3-pointers in ending the season with a 24-6 record.

WALKER-HACKENSACK-AKELEY: Deegan 3 0-0 7, Nornberg 2 0-0 4, M. Benjamin 2 1-2 5, K. Benjamin 2 0-0 4, Raddatz 5 7-9 17, Day 9 0-0 18. Totals: 23 for 49 (FG), 8 for 11 (FT).

MENAHGA: A. Peterson 4 4-5 14, M. Hendrickson 11 4-6 26, T. Hendrickson 0 1-3 1, Ahlf 4 7-8 16, Schwartz 3 2-2 9, K. Hendrickson 0 0-0 0, Berttunen 0 0-0 0, M. Peterson 0 0-0 0, Ai. Lake 0 0-0 0, Tormanen 0 0-0 0, Hillukka 0 0-0 0, An. Lake 1 2-3 4. Totals: 23 for 60 (FG), 20 for 27 (FT).

Halftime: W-H-A 31, Menahga 28. Three-pointers: A. Peterson 2, Ahlf 1, Schwartz 1, Deegan 1. Team fouls: W-H-A 20, Menahga 11. Fouled out: K. Benjamin. Rebounds: Menahga 29 (M. Hendrickson 13, A. Peterson 6, Schwartz 5, Ahlf 3, An. Lake 1, T. Hendrickson 1). Assists: Menahga 12 (M. Hendrickson 4, A. Peterson 3, T. Hendrickson 2, Ai. Lake 1, Schwartz 1, Ahlf 1). Steals: Menahga 11 (Ahlf 6, A. Peterson 2, M. Hendrickson 1, Schwartz 1, T. Hendrickson 1). Blocked shots: Menahga 2 (Ahlf 1, T. Hendrickson 1). Turnonvers: Menahga 11.

Braves oust Trojans

Megan Hendrickson's 20 points and nine rebounds led the Braves to a 68-55 playoff win over Sebeka on March 3 at Pequot Lakes.

Peterson made four 3-pointers and added 19 points while Ahlf (10) and Schwartz (9) combined for 19 points. Tara Hendrickson led the Braves with six assists and five steals while also grabbing eight rebounds. Menahga, which held a 32-28 lead at the half, hit 7 of 20 3-pointers in defeating the Trojans for the third time this season.

Kenzie Nelson scored 17 points to lead the Trojans, the No. 4 seed in the North. Sebeka which lost both games to the Braves during the regular season by scores of 85-37 on Jan. 5 and 73-33 on Feb. 8, end the season with a 14-13 record.

SEBEKA: Nelson 17, Lake 8, Rathcke 6, Lillquist 5, Bullock 9, Heino 4, Peterson 6.

MENAHGA: A. Peterson 5 5-6 19, M. Hendrickson 8 3-4 20, T. Hendrickson 2 2-5 6, Ahlf 3 2-3 10, Schwartz 3 3-6 9, M. Peterson 1 0-0 2, Ai. Lake 0 0-0 0, An. Lake 0 2-4 2. Totals: 22 for 59 (FG), 17 for 28 (FT).

Halftime: Menahga 32, Sebeka 28. Three-pointers: A. Peterson 4, M. Hendrickson 1, Ahlf 2. Rebounds: Menahga 32 (M. Hendrickson 9, T. Hendrickson 8, A. Peterson 5, Schwartz 5, Ahlf 3, Ai. Lake 1, An. Lake 1). Assists: Menahga 13 (T. Hendrickson 6, M. Hendrickson 2, Ahlf 2, A. Peterson 1, Ai. Lake 1, Schwartz 1). Steals: Menahga 15 (T. Hendrickson 5, A. Peterson 4, M. Hendrickson 3, Schwartz 2, Ahlf 1). Team fouls: Menahga 20. Turnovers: Menahga 12.

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