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Lourdes girls close out Caledonia in style

Jan. 20—ROCHESTER — If the Lourdes girls basketball team could bottle what it did in the last 8 minutes of regulation Saturday afternoon against Caledonia, it would be a serious contender to win a state championship.

Lourdes has played well this season. But in that closing stretch, it was a whole lot more than good as it took on the Warriors in the TRC-HVL Showdown at Mayo Civic Arena.

Lourdes was otherworldly in polishing off a Caledonia team that was tied 33-33 with Lourdes with 8 minutes left.

Stifling defense, impeccable ball movement, shot making — it was all there from then on for the Eagles.

By the time their "clinic" was done, Lourdes had stormed off with a 57-41 win.

Finishing games with 24-8 scoring runs tends to lead to wins. But against a team as good as Caledonia, those kinds of explosions are rare.

Lourdes enjoyed this one.

"Maybe we missed one shot in that stretch, I don't know, but all the shots we took then were great shots," Lourdes coach Todd Greguson said. "From a shot-selection standpoint, that is huge, just huge. That was fun."

Just as impressive as Lourdes delivering those offensive knock-out blows was what it did on the other end of the court. The Eagles are brimming with defensive-minded players who can really move their feet

Out front, guards Aaliyah Williams and Ella Shedivy are elite at moving side to side. Inside, forward Lauren Hust is just as good. And center Lily Davick can also move as well as track down rebounds. She finished Saturday's game with 15 points and 14 rebounds.

Then there are players such as starting guard Caroline Daly and reserve guard Allie Restovich. They are also defensive minded and smart.

Saturday, all of the Eagles were getting it done. But those last 8 minutes were special. Caledonia could barely get a shot off.

"Defense is what (stood out)," said 5-11 sophomore forward Hust, who had 11 points and about 10 rebounds. "Defense can come every day. When we did that today, it just made our energy go up and that led to offense. Our team played together after struggling a little bit (early in the game)."

Hust, one of the fastest and quickest forwards around, relishes denying the other team's offense.

"The energy that defense brings, it just changes the game no matter what," she said. "Defense is fun. And defense wins championships. Today, our team all played really good defense. Everybody out there did it. It all comes from practice and hard work."

The teams entered the day virtually even. Lourdes was 10-4, Caledonia 11-4.

Lourdes was looking for a signature win. It had won nine straight before taking on No. 8-ranked Byron (Class 3A) on Thursday and losing 54-39.

In facing Caledonia, it was staring at a team that is long and can shoot. The Warriors were scoring 62 points per game while allowing just 43. They were also on a four-game winning streak, among those an impressive 66-50 triumph over formidable Dover-Eyota.

But they caught Lourdes on the wrong day. The Eagles used the afternoon to turn in their best performance this season.

Caledonia had just two double-figure scorers, Aubrie King and Josie Foster with 11 points apiece.

Lourdes 57, Caledonia 41

CALEDONIA (41)

Jessica Stendel 2 P; Aubrie Klug 11 P, 2 3-PT; Josie Foster 11 P; Kensey King 2 P; Regan King 6 P; Nicole Banse 9 P, 1 3-PT.

LOURDES (57)

Lauren Hust 11 P, 1 3-PT; Allie Restovich 3 P, 1 3-PT; Caroline Daly 10 P, 2 3-PT; Lily Davick 15 P; Aaliyah Williams 16 P, 4 3-PT.

Halftime: CAL 29, LOUR 28.

Free throws: CAL 8-11, LOUR 3-3.

Three-point goals: CAL 3, LOUR 8.