Cambridge-Isanti girls basketball had the opportunity to keep running with the leaders in the Mississippi 8, but visiting Monticello dealt the Bluejackets a tough blow when the Magic took home a 67-58 victory Jan. 25. The loss dropped C-I’s conference record to 2-2 entering this week.
St. Michael-Albertville, ranked 8th in Class 4A, holds a one-game lead over the Magic. The Bluejackets will host the Knights in another key M-8 contest Jan. 31.
The Friday night game began slowly with both defenses holding the edge. After the Magic bounced ahead a bit, the Jackets were within 12-8 when Lily Porta made a steal and fed Justine Larson who split two defenders to score.
But the Magic tightened their zone defense further, took a couple charge calls, then burst on a 13-0 run. The Bluejackets had several shots rim out and also hurt themselves during that stretch by missing three front-end free throws.
Brynn Liljander’s banked three-pointer stopped the run. An Amanda Hanson putback off an offensive board and a Larson three-point play had the Jackets within 25-16, but the Magic finished strongly to go into the break up 32-18.
The Magic maintained a 12-to-18 point lead in the second half, with the Jackets cutting it down to single digits in the final minute. Liljander finished with 28 points. Hanson scored 7 with 9 rebounds. More leading scorers for C-I were Porta (9/8 rebounds), Larson (8) and Paige Muehlhauser (6).
Mississippi 8 Girls Basketball
St. Michael-Alb. 4-0, 15-3; Monticello 3-1, 16-3; Rogers 3-1, 12-7; Cambridge-Isanti 2-2, 11-6; Big Lake 0-4, 8-9; Buffalo 0-4, 5-13.
• On Jan. 28, the Bluejackets jumped out to a huge lead and kept rolling to defeat Section 7AAAA partner Blaine 59-28. Porta paced C-I with 16 points Monday night, with Liljander scoring 15 (three ‘3s’), Hanson 10 and Larson 9. Hanson and Sydney Larkin led with 6 and 5 rebounds.