Ellen Wiese, head coach of the Eden Prairie High School girls basketball team, said that for the first time in a long time, she woke up happy on a Saturday morning.
“We played well and we won,” she said.
Except that they didn’t.
On Friday, Eden Prairie fell 68-65 to No. 3-ranked Wayzata.
“It was the best we played as a team and the best we played all season,” said Wiese. “We were hitting on all cylinders. We followed the game plan and we played well together.
“I was more thrilled in losing to Wayzata than I was when we beat St. Louis Park,” she added.
Friday’s game wasn’t exactly back-and-forth, but it had its moments.
“It was close before they went on a run right before the half,” said the coach. “They led by eight at halftime and then by 10 midway through the second. We came back and had a good look at a three, down by one, with just a few seconds remaining. Hit that shot and we probably win.”
Eden Prairie made just 25% of its three-point attempts on Friday.
On the flip side, it made 64% of its two-point attempts.
“We needed one more three,” lamented Wiese.
Natalie Mazurek led Eden Prairie with 18 points. Destinee Bursch counted 13, Nneka Obiazor and Nia Holloway 12 apiece.
Holloway led the team with nine rebounds.
At the beginning of the week, Wiese talked of the importance of playing well against Minnetonka and Edina.
“As conference and section games, they carry extra weight,” she said. “If we lose to Minnetonka, it’s like going 0-2.”
On Tuesday, Eden Prairie hosted Minnetonka.
The Eagles played well.
At halftime, Eden Prairie led 43-22.
While Eden Prairie didn’t play as well in the second half, Minnetonka outscored Eden Prairie 40-32, it didn’t matter.
Final score: Eden Prairie 75, Minnetonka 62.
The key to Eden Prairie’s success was its ability to put the ball in the basket.
As a team, Eden Prairie would shoot 50% (30-60).
From the behind the three-point line, Eden Prairie made good on 8-11 attempts (73 percent). Allison Miranda went 3-3, Molly Lenz 2-2.
Nneka Obiazor led Eden Prairie with 24 points. Natalie Mazurek added 23.
Eden Prairie counted 20 assists.
Tuesday’s win lifted Eden Prairie’s overall record to 6-5. More importantly, it improved its record against Section 2-4A teams to 3-1.
Eden Prairie was scheduled to play Edina at Edina on Tuesday. On Thursday, Eden Prairie hosts No. 1-ranked Hopkins.