Braham & Cambridge-Isanti girls win playoff openers

Senior Jenna Winter scored 13 points against Maple Lake in the 5AA opener, working nice cutting pass plays with Jaclyn Hollenkamp in the second half.  Photos by Greg Hunt

Senior Jenna Winter scored 13 points against Maple Lake in the 5AA opener, working nice cutting pass plays with Jaclyn Hollenkamp in the second half. Photos by Greg Hunt

Braham closed the first half on a 9-2 run, then the Bombers advanced their lead to 21 points in the second half before defeating Maple Lake 62-47 in the Section 5AA girls basketball opener March 6. Jaclyn Hollenkamp scored  11 in the second half and 19 points in the game to lead the Bombers.

Senior Kayla Nickles had 15 of her 17 points in the first half to help create the early advantage, and senior Jenna Winter added 13 points in their final game on the BHS court. Rayne Coughlin led the Irish with 20 points.

The 5AA North No. 2 seed Bombers (22-4) next take on No. 3 Foley (17-9) in the 5AA quarterfinals 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 8 at St. Michael-Albertville H.S. The Falcons got past Spectrum 43-40 in their Thursday night matchup.

In the same bracket half, North top-seed Annandale (14-11) defeated Mora 61-17 and No. 4 Milaca (13-10) downed St. Cloud Cathedral 55-36. In the South half quarterfinals, top-seed Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted (23-2) will play No. 4 Rockford, and No. 2 Watertown-Mayer (17-9) will play No. 3 Providence Academy (14-12).

The 5AA semifinals will be Tuesday, March 11 back at St. Michael-Albertville (North  winners play at 8 p.m./South at 6 p.m.).  The section championship will be March 14 at SCSU’s Hallenbeck Hall.

Kayla Nickles drove well to score 17 points on the Irish in the Bombers' opening playoff victory in their new section.

Senior Kayla Nickles drove hard to score 17 points on the Irish in the Braham Bombers’ opening playoff victory in their new section.

Section 7AAAA: Cambridge-Isanti 59, Duluth East 31

The Cambridge-Isanti girls out-scored visiting Duluth East 19-4 in the early going of the second half to pull away for a 59-31  win in the Section 7AAAA quarterfinals March 6. Justine Larson led the way with 15 points and 8 rebounds. Lily Porta followed with 14 points, Maria Vavra 8, and 7 points each came from Brooke Olson and Shelby Swanson. The Bluejackets out-rebounded the Greyhounds 47-26.

The No. 4 seed Bluejackets (16-10) will next take on top-seed and defending section champion Anoka (20-7) in the 7AAAA semifinals 6 p.m. on Monday, March 10 at North Branch H.S. The Tornadoes opened with a 76-27 victory over Coon Rapids.

Anoka is led by seniors Claire Lundberg (15.8 ppg), Kyrah Fredenburg (14.2 ppg) and Ashley Bray (8.8 ppg). Porta leads the Bluejackets with 15.0 ppg this season, with Larson (11.2 ppg) and Vavra (9.3 ppg) next.

In the 8 p.m. semis at North Branch will be No. 2 Forest Lake (69-36 over St. Francis in quarters) and No. 3 Andover (66-53 over Blaine). The Section 7AAAA finals will be Friday, March 14 back at North Branch.

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