Collecting the second place trophy has got to be one of the most difficult things in sports. You go into the title game knowing one win will get you the championship and in this case, advance you to the state tournament. Top-seeded Blooming Prairie fell into that category losing the Section 1A girls basketball finals to Fillmore Central 69-56 Thursday night at the Mayo Civic Center Arena. The Falcons are going to state for the first time in girls basketball.

BP coach John Bruns said during the Kat Kountry 105 pregame show that dealing with the Falcons' attacking defense would be a challenge. Fillmore Central delivered the expected pressure and turned that into numerous early turnovers and some quick transition points to grab an 18-8 lead.

Even though the Awesome Blossoms got the turnover bug under control, the Falcons still extended the lead to 32-17 later in the first half thanks to offensive rebounding and a pair of three pointers from Hope Sexton off the Fillmore Central bench.

BP trailed 36-24 at the half. They went on a 7-0 run to start the second half while forcing four quick Falcon turnovers to pull within 36-31. Fillmore Central answered with a 7-0 burst of their own to push the lead out to 43-31.

Awesome Blossom senior Julia Worke led a second-half surge and a 10-3 run to cut the deficit to 56-53. Fillmore Central scored a quick four points and was back up by seven. The Falcons got two more treys from Sexton in the second half with BP defenders in her face. Kandace Sikkink powered the Falcons with 25 points, 16 in the first half, to lead all scorers. FC was just good enough from the free throw line, going 10-for-16, to fend off any last minute charge from BP.

Megan Oswald led the Blossoms with 23 points and around a dozen rebounds. Worke added 12, all in the second half including a pair of late three's. For the game, Blooming Prairie was 3-for-17 from behind the arc. Fillmore Central was 3-for-8 on three-point tries in the second half and about 6-for-17 in the game. Emma Breitsprecher had a double-double with 16 points and about ten rebounds for FC.

Seniors for Blooming Prairie (21-6) include Worke, Maya Lembke, Marti Snider, and Baylee Sorenson. Fillmore Central will begin play at the state tournament at Maturi Pavilion on the University of Minnesota campus on Wednesday, March 12.


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