Girls State Basketball: Totino-Grace advances to Class 3A title game with 86-72 win over Como Park

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Totino-Grace matched St. Paul Como Park’s fast-paced up-tempo style with a version of its own in creating a coveted spot to end the season.

The Eagles, the No. 3 seed in the Class AAA field, raced past No. 2 Como Park with speed, quickness and an inside presence to record an 86-72 victory in the second Class AAA semifinal of the Minnesota State High School League’s Girls Basketball State Tournament on Thursday, March 17, 2022 at Williams Arena on the University of Minnesota campus. Senior forward Hanna Herzig scored 29 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and had 11 assists to send the Eagles (22-8) into the Class AAA championship game on Saturday night against Becker, the defending class champion.

It is Totino-Grace’s second appearance in a state championship game. In 2008, the Eagles topped DeLaSalle for the Class AAA crown.

Junior forward Abby Lord added 20 points for Totino-Grace and senior guard Leah Denegrud had 17. The Eagles led by as many as 18 points and scored 36 points in the paint. They also created 18 points on fast breaks.

With a roster of young and energetic players, St. Paul Como Park (22-7) has the ability to score at will. Even when Totino-Grace led by 11 points, 77-66, with 4:36 remaining in regulation, there was a sense that the Cougars were looking for an opening to turn a rally. It didn’t come as Totino-Grace made free throws and timely baskets down the stretch. Herzig was 12 of 12 from the free throw line.

After trailing by nine midway through the first half, Totino-Grace reversed its fortunes and led for more than 30 minutes of game time.

Senior guard Ronnie Porter led Como Park with 22 points and senior Kaylynn Asberry added 14.