MONTEVIDEO — Russell-Tyler-Ruthton ended any attempts at Yellow Medicine East Cinderella history with a 74-62 victory over the Sting in the Section 3A women’s basketball tournament on Saturday.
YME entered Saturday’s playoff game by closing out its regular season by upsetting the state’s No. 2 ranked team, Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s. 76-74 Thursday.
YME ends its season 13-11.
RTR advances to the Section 3A Semifinals and takes on the top-seeded Minneota Vikings at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Marshall.
Aside from an early second-half comeback against RTR, the magic seemed to have worn off over the two-day span.
“The girls worked hard and we just didn’t do enough down the stretch,” YME coach Ryan Schultz said. “(Give) credit to RTR; they made a lot of shots, made good plays, made great passes.
“Offensively, I think we played well,” he added. “There were some turnarounds down the line towards the end that could have changed things. But, overall, we played well, but not enough to get there.
Senior center Shelby Mortenson led YME with 24 points, including 16 in the second half.
Sting junior forward Hannah Stark scored 21 points, including 13 in the second half. The two scored 45 of the Sting’s 62 points.
“It’s been a lot of fun all season long,” Mortenson said. “It’s been great fun watching our team grow since last year. We were really young. It was really fun for us to grow as a team and see each other grow closer.
The Knights were led by 17 points from junior guard Ella Hesse and senior guard Faith Thomsen, who scored 12 of her 16 points from the free throw line.
After winning the tip-off, Y ME started with a heat test. Junior Stella Schuler’s first shot of the game came from 3-point range and was on target.
Mortenson scored the Sting’s first six points, but every shot was answered by the Knights.
YME had a cold streak, allowing RTR to take an 18-9 lead near the 10-minute mark.
After not scoring for nearly eight minutes, Mortenson ended the cold streak with an inside bucket.
As halftime approached, Stark brought a spark to the Sting. She sank 3 straight points and scored a layup to cut the deficit to 24-17.
The Knights responded by taking a 29-19 lead but entered halftime leading 30-24.
YME went on a 10-2 run to take a 34-32 lead to start the second half.
The Knights then went on a 5-0 run and took a 37-34 lead.
YME eventually held a 42-41 lead, taking the lead on a wide-opening layup, but was unable to stop the Knights from going on an 11-3 run. The Sting trailed 52-45 and couldn’t make another comeback.
Although Mortenson and Stark scored 29 of Sting’s 38 points in the second half, the Knights managed to beat YME by four to take the overall victory by 12 points.
“It’s been a fun season, probably one of the most fun seasons I’ve ever had,” Schultz said. “The girls were great. They went out and competed every night, lots of close wins, lots of close losses. There is a lot to take away from this season.
“There have certainly been a lot of experiences and lessons that we hope the seniors will take with them in their future endeavors while hoping that the juniors and underclasses will carry on their experiences and lessons learned next season.”
YMD (13-11) 30 42 — 62
RTR (16-11) 24 38 — 74
YME – Rating: Ruby Bones 2, Stella Schuler 5, Aria Peters 10, Hannah Stark 21, Shelby Mortenson 24 … 3 point shots: Schuler 1, Peters 2, Stark 2
RTR – Rating: Tatum Hess 6, Alexis Schreurs 11, Faith Thomsen 16, Ella Hesse 17, Camry Swenson 8, Madison Lawrence 8, Ally Nelson 8 … 3 point shots: Hesse 2