Weekend wrapup: Top-five team perfects the art of catching up

The Minnetonka boys basketball team put its practice to use during a pair of come-from-behind victories over the weekend.

It started when three steals in the final minute Friday led to a 73-70 victory over visiting Buffalo. The Skippers made a bigger surge Saturday in the Wisconsin vs. Minnesota Border Battle at Benilde-St. Margaret's High School, finishing on a 25-3 run to defeat Wisconsin Grafton 86-76. Grafton is ranked 10th in Wisconsin's Division 2.

Handily, the Skippers, ranked third in Class 4A by Minnesota Basketball News, practice being behind.

"Basketball is a game of runs," Skippers coach Bryce Tesdahl said. "Things are not always going to go your way. We practice having to come back in games. We talk about taking it possession by possession. We have an experienced team at the varsity level. It was a true test of character."

Jordan Cain made the first big defensive play against Buffalo, taking the ball away from the Bison ballhandler and giving the Skippers the lead for good, 69-68, with 53 seconds left. Greyson Uelmen followed with a steal and layup and sealed the victory by stealing the ball before the Bison could get a shot off.

"That has been kind of routine," Tesdahl said. "[Cain, Uelmen and Andy Stefonowicz] are some of the best players in the metro at deflecting balls and creating turnovers. We have done a very good job of turning them into points."

On Saturday, Grafton led by 12 points with six minutes left, before the Skippers rallied to improve to 11-1.

"Our execution of the game plan improved," Tesdahl said. "We got easier baskets and took away the things they were trying to do. Our spacing and timing were better."

Cain finished the weekend with 37 points (15 against Buffalo and 22 against Grafton). Uelmen had 16 points in each game, and Stefonowicz scored 13 against Buffalo and 22 against Grafton.

Orono knocks off Dodge County in overtime in girls hockey

Orono's girls hockey team, ranked second in Class 1A, fell back on depth Saturday in a 5-4 overtime victory over No. 4 Dodge County. Zoe Lopez scored her second goal of the game 1:22 into the extra period.

Lope, a junior, also scored during a spree that included five goals in the last five minutes of the first period. The Spartans came out of the period with a 3-2 lead on a power-play goal by Maddy Kimbrel with two seconds left.

"They capitalized on our mistakes. We capitalized on their mistakes," Spartans coach Paul Antonenko said. "It's all about momentum."

After giving up a goal in the second period, the Wildcats (15-3-0) scored a pair of goals to tie the score 4-4 in the third period. Norah Carstensen had two goals and Alexa Van Straaten and Kylie Meyer scored one goal each for the Wildcats.

Four Orono players picked up multiple points. Lopez led the way with two goals and one assist. Kimbrel had two goals, and Kali Schmidt and Alex Paulsen had two assists each. Macy Rasmussen also scored a goal.

"Our depth is huge. We want to run with three lines. Everyone has contributed for us," Antonenko said. "[The Wildcats] have a really good first line, one of the best in the state. When they started running them every other shift, we matched that, but we have confidence we can run three lines."

Minnetonka rallies past Edina in girls hockey

Another matchup of top-five girls hockey teams went to overtime Saturday. Minnetonka, ranked first in Class 2A, rallied past No. 4 Edina 3-2 at Pagel Ice Arena.

Skippers junior forward Senja Leeper scored 3:39 into the extra period to avenge a Jan. 6 1-0 road loss to the Hornets. The Skippers (17-2-1) got the game to overtime with goals by Sydney Boss Krohn and Kendra Distad 1:19 apart in the final six minutes of regulation.

Whitney Horton and Lorelai Nelson scored 3:52 apart late in the second period to give the Hornets (16-5-1) a two-goal lead heading into the third period.

Inside the Numbers

4: Goals by Tre Peck in Totino-Grace's 9-4 boys hockey victory over Armstrong/Cooper.

4: Goals by Liam Grant in Mound Westonka's 5-0 boys hockey victory over Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato.

4: Goals scored by Josie Linn in Holy Family's 5-0 girls hockey win over Blake.

16: Combined points by Ayla Puppe (two goals, four assists), Grace McCoshen (two goals, three assists) and Emerson Garlie (four goals, one assist) in Northfield's 10-1 girls hockey win over Red Wing.

23: Seconds into overtime Sami Pool scored to give Forest Lake a 4-3 girls hockey win over Mounds View/Irondale.

28: Seconds into overtime Owen Durigan scored to give Rosemount a 3-2 boys hockey victory over Apple Valley/Burnsville.

41: Points by Daniel Freitag in Breck's 83-66 boys basketball victory over Blake.

45: Points by Will Strandemo in Delano's 96-92 boys basketball victory over New Ulm.

48: Saves by Gretchen Paaverud in Anoka's 5-1 girls hockey win over Rogers.

69: Saves by Charlie Bergstrom in an Osseo boys' hockey 5-2 loss to Champlin Park.