Breana Bowman

Ninth-grader Breana Bowman has been one of Prior Lake’s top scorers this season.

The young Prior Lake girls basketball team is trying to keep pace in a difficult Section 2AAAA field.

Four teams from the section are ranked in the Class 4A poll, and the Lakers faced one of them Jan. 19 on the road. Second-ranked Minnetonka earned a 79-58 victory over Prior Lake.

The Lakers went into the game off a 54-51 loss at Eagan in South Suburban Conference play Jan. 14.

Prior Lake (5-2 in the SSC) also lost 56-45 Jan. 12 at Minnehaha Academy, ranked No. 1 in Class 2A, before earning a 73-48 home win over Farmington in league action Jan. 11.

Meanwhile, Section 2AAAA is the only section in the state in all four classes where the all of the teams in the field have a winning record. That’s how tough it is.

Minnetonka (12-1), No. 3 Chaska (12-1) and No. 4 Eden Prairie (10-2) and No. 10 Shakopee (11-3) are the four ranked squads, while Edina (9-5), Chanhassen (8-5), Waconia (7-6) and the Lakers (7-6) follow.

Prior Lake is 0-3 against the section so far with the other two losses to Shakopee (68-43) and Eden Prairie (60-22).

Meanwhile, in the win over Farmington, the 73 points tied a season-high for the Lakers. Sophomore Cecilia McNair led the way with 18 points, while ninth-grader Breana Bowman finished with 15 and junior Lauren Pawlyshyn scored 14.

Ninth-grader Alaya Carter and sophomore Avery Moeller both scored eight points.

The Lakers jumped out to a 43-23 lead at the break and never looked back.

In the loss to Minnehaha Academy, Prior Lake got down 31-24 at the break and couldn’t make up the ground in the second half. Bowman led the way with 12 points, while Pawlyshyn was also in double figures with 11.

McNair scored six points, while Moeller had five and sophomore Anna Van Helden had four.

Against Eagan, Prior Lake tried to overcome a 26-17 deficit at the break, but came up short. Moeller and Bowman led the Lakers with 13 and 12 points, respectively.

Pawlyshyn scored nine and Van Helden had six.

In the loss to Minnetonka, Prior Lake was down 36-25 at the break and was outscored by 11 points in the second half. Pawlyshyn led the Lakers with 14 points, while Bowman scored 10.

McNair chipped in eight points, while Van Helden had seven and sophomore Julia Thoms scored six.

The first round of Section 2AAAA play starts March 2. The semifinals are scheduled for March 5 with the title game on March 11. The higher seed is at home in all three rounds.

Chaska is not only the defending section champion, but the Hawks won the Class 4A state title last winter.

Prior Lake’s last section crown came in 2018.

Tom Schardin covers sports for Savage and Prior Lake. He is dependable, sarcastic and always joking around. Tom enjoys running and swimming and is often busy coaching his two kids' sports teams.