Saints fall basket shy of sectional title

Above The Fold Media | For the Leader
Emily McCurdy drives to the basket against an Arcadia defender in the WIAA sectional final last Saturday, March 7, at Baldwin-Woodville.
Arcadia stops postseason run with 52-49 win
BALDWIN – Olivia Miron and a second-half defensive effort put the St. Croix Falls girls basketball team in the sectional final, but the Saints fell a basket shy from a potential sectional title.
St. Croix Falls went to Amery for Thursday’s semifinal and earned a 53-39 win over Northwestern to advance to Saturday’s final at Baldwin-Woodville, where Arcadia stopped the Saints postseason run with a 52-49 win.
Miron scored a game-high 19 points for the Saints in their win over Northwestern, though first-half scoring distribution provided a lead entering halftime. Both Olivia and Kaylee Miron had six points in the first half while Lucia Neuman and Emily McCurdy provided long-range shooting, each making a 3-pointer and scoring seven first-half points.
Karsyn Jones helped keep the Tigers within striking distance by scoring 10 of the team’s 23 first-half points, including a pair of 3-pointers. St. Croix Falls took a three-point lead into the break and built upon the advantage with Olivia Miron’s scoring, along with more points at the free-throw line.
She had 13 second-half points while teammates accounted for eight makes at the line. The Saints finished 15-for-30 at the free-throw line, which was enough to maintain a late lead.
Neuman and McCurdy finished with nine points each; Kaylee Miron had seven. Jones led Northwestern with 14 points but just three other Tigers had more than one make from the floor and none of those had more than two.
The win gave the Saints a sectional final matchup with Arcadia on Saturday at Baldwin-Woodville, and a second-half comeback fell short in the loss.
Ellie Hoesley presented challenges for St. Croix Falls at the defensive end in the first half, scoring 13 points, including nine off 3-pointers. Though the Saints got three total 3-pointers from Brianna McCurdy and Olivia Miron, they still trailed 30-21 entering halftime.
"The primary focus was not letting (Hoesley) get a shot off in the second half,” St. Croix Falls coach Angie Maternowsky said.
The Saints accomplished that by holding Hoesley scoreless in the second half and allowing them to close the gap. Kaylee Miron scored all 13 of her points in the second half for St. Croix Falls while the defense caused a bit more difficulty for Arcadia.
"We were able in the last five minutes to create a few more turnovers,” Maternowsky said.
But just as in the first half, the Saints were unable to get the lead in the second half. The Raiders weren’t efficient at the free-throw line but did just enough to keep the late lead. They finished 12-for-26 at the line overall, but even a missed free throw in the final seconds couldn’t help the Saints get the final possession.
Arcadia got the rebound off a missed attempt that could have provided a chance for a last-second game-tying 3-pointer for St. Croix Falls, but that was denied with the Raiders rebound.
Emily McCurdy finished with 12 points for the Saints; Brianna McCurdy and Olivia Miron had 10 points each. The Saints finished the season with a 24-2 overall record.

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