Medford Knocks off Blooming Prairie, Earns Home Playoff Game
A handful of Tiger student fans attended the girls basketball game at Medford Tuesday night. They seemed a little of practice and a bit subdued despite the high level of intensity of the game. It was good to see them in attendance, however. A few Blooming Prairie student fans, apparently members of the boys basketball team who had the night off, were also there.
Medford won the game in thrilling fashion 55-53 in overtime. Catrina Herr hit a jumper from near the free throw line for the win with about ten seconds to go. That came after Blooming Prairie's Macy Lembke drilled a buzzer-beating three-pointer at the end of regulation for her only basket of the night to tie the game at 52-52.
BP came back from five points down with a minute to go. Medford trailed by nine with about 12 minutes remaining. The Tigers hit 20-of-24 free throws in the second half. Herr scored 16. Twelve of those came in the first half and included a pair of three's. Clara Kniefel scored 16 or her 17 in the second half and grabbed about 15 rebounds for the night. Brooke Purrier added seven, all of them after halftime, hitting five-of-six from the free throw line.
Megan Oswald led BP with 25 points and about 15 rebounds. Maren Forystek hit three three's for nine points. It was the Awesome Blossom's second straight night of an overtime loss. Monday night Waterville-Elysian-Morristown won 60-51. WEM beat Hayfield 60-37 Tuesday and can secure the outright Gopher Conference title Friday night at NRHEG.
BP (14-3 overall, 11-2 Gopher Conference) will go to Maple River Friday. Medford (9-4, 8-3) hosts Bethlehem Academy Friday for senior night. The game will be carried on AM 1390 KRFO, simulcasting on 94.7 FM.
As impressive as the win was over BP, Medford's victory at Maple River Monday paved the way for the Tigers to earn the fourth seed and a home playoff game, against Maple River in the Section 2AA South Subsection quarterfinals Wednesday, March 17.