Unbelievable Anoka reaches State in 7AAAA finals

The amazing Anoka girls – a No. 9 seed which entered the playoffs 2-24– kept their season alive with a 77-66 overtime win over Cambridge-Isanti in the Section 7AAAA championship, held March 11 at North Branch.

“I would have never imagined in a million years that it was going to come to this,” said Anoka Coach James Fassett. “But, you know, I’m so happy. Words can’t explain it.”

Anoka was hot from downtown in the first half, hitting six three-pointers and leading 32-22 at the break. The Tornadoes lead grew to 39-24 before the Jackets picked up the heat with the full-court press. Steals by Deandra Vavra and Natalie Larson helped fuel a C-I comeback, along with Whitney Olson sinking three shots from the arc which eventually forged a 53-53 tie. Olson later delivered two free throws with 0.3 seconds left in regulation to send the game to OT at 64-64.

But the young Tornadoes regrouped, and Kyrah Fredenburg banked home a ‘3’ which game them a 68-64. She later slashed to the bucket for another score which raised the lead to 73-66.

Fredenburg led all scorers with 24 points, and Claire Lundeen added 22 for Anoka. Olson led C-I with 21 points, followed by Larson (15), Darah Olson (14– plus a strong night on the boards), Vavra (10) and Paige Muehlhauser (4).

Anoka next will play in the Class 4A State tourney which gets underway March 16 at the Target Center. Seeding for the brackets will be completed this weekend.