Stewartville knocked off the No.1-ranked team in the state, using an impressive second-half performance to edge Becker, 60-59.
Ella Theobald and Savannah Hedin each scored 15 points, and Haylie Strum added 13 points, a team-high seven rebounds, four assists and three steals for the Tigers, who trailed by 11 at halftime.
But Becker (26-4), which was looking to advance to its fifth straight state championship game, had difficulty after Stewartville switched to a zone defense — something the Tigers rarely do — for the second half.
“We got some easy tipped balls out of it and cut (their deficit) in half,” Liffrig said. “I am just so proud of the kids for that.”
Hannah Martinson’s 3-pointer pulled the Tigers (28-2) to within 50-47 to start a 10-run that Keeley Steele put an exclamation point with a long 3-pointer for a 55-50 lead with 3:46 left. The Tiger held off the Bulldogs with a driving basket by Hedin and free throw from Jayci Rath.
The Tigers advanced to play No. 2 seed Benilde-St. Margaret’s in Saturday’s championship game at Williams Arena. Tip is set for 6 p.m.
BEMILDE-ST. MARGARET’S 70, ALEXANDRIA 51
Olivia Olson finished with 33 points and 13 rebounds, and Sydney Friedly was 3 for 4 from 3-point range and added 11 points as the Red Knights (25-6) advanced to Saturday’s 3A championship game.
MaCee Linow and Hadley Thul scored 15 and 13 points, respectively, for Alexandria (25-5) but the Cardinals had trouble scoring, shooting just 30 percent from the field.