A fast and quick Stillwater team that also knocked down its shots proved to be too much for the Shakopee girls basketball team at the state tournament.
Stillwater defeated the Sabers 73-48 on Wednesday afternoon in the Class 4A state tournament quarterfinals at Williams Arena on the campus of the University of Minnesota.
Stillwater started fast in both halves as they eventually proved too much for the Sabers.
The Ponies started the game by hitting three, three-pointers in the first four minutes of the game to jump out to a 12-2 lead on the Sabers. Grace Cote hit two of those three, three-pointers.
Shakopee settled down and cut the lead to 22-18 after two free throws by Jaley Coplin with just under seven minutes left in the half.
Stillwater answered with a 15-7 run to end the half to lead 37-25 at halftime.
The start of the second half was a nightmare for the Sabers as Stillwater scored the first 14 points to go up 51-25 just four minutes into the half.
The lead stayed right around 20 points for the rest of the game and Stillwater won 73-48.
The big difference in the game was Stillwater’s shooting and the Sabers inability to hold onto the ball.
Shakopee turned the ball over 19 times in the game and only shot 29 percent for the game including hitting only 5 of 23 three-pointers in the game.
In contrast, Stillwater shot 46 percent for the game and knocked down 10 of 22 three-pointers.
Shakopee was led by Jaley Coplin, who scored 11 points. Natalie Holte added 10 points.
Stillwater was led by Cote, who finished with 16 points while hitting 4 of 5 three-point attempts.
University of Minnesota recruit Sara Scalia scored 12 points and Alexis Pratt also scored 12.
Stillwater advanced to the state semifinals on Thursday night while Shakopee played in the consolation semifinals against Forest Lake on Thursday afternoon — after this edition of the Shakopee Valley News went to press.
Shakopee qualified for the Class 4A girls state basketball tournament by beating Eden Prairie 41-39 last Friday night at Eden Prairie High School.
In the win against Eden Prairie, Shakopee survived two late shots by the Eagles to win the section title by two points.
The Sabers led 23-21 at halftime and was able to extend its lead to 32-23 with 11 minutes left in the game.
Eden Prairie didn’t pack it in and battled back to tie the game at 33-33 and eventually took a 35-33 lead with six minutes left in the game.
Shakopee responded and outscored Eden Prairie 8-4 the rest of the way to take a 41-39 lead.
Eden Prairie had two good looks at the basket at the end of the game to tie it but missed both and Shakopee won the section title.
Kelley Brennen led the Sabers with 15 points.