The Faribault Falcon players had a lot of tears flowing after Saturday night's 53-35 loss to the Red Wing Wingers.  One of the moms was shocked her daughter was crying but I told her, final game I cried too.  It doesn't matter when the final game happens.  It's the sudden realization you will never play with your friends in a high school game again.

Making it to the final four of Section 1AAA after going to the final four in Section 2AAA last season was a significant accomplishment for the team.  Faribault Head Coach Bill Bardal told KDHL he was, "Honored to coach these seniors the past four years.  Not just because they're good athletes.  These are outstanding young women who will make an impact in whatever communities they choose to live in."

#15 Class 3A Red Wing has just one senior on their team, Tayzha Buck is a 5'10 guard heading to play for the University of Evansville Purple Aces.  A Division One program in Indiana.  The Falcons had 5'10 senior Bre Bresnahan guard her in the first half and Buck did not score.  The Wingers didn't need her to.

Red Wing had a 25-18 lead at the half and came out in the second half forcing a turnover on Faribault's first possession .  The Wingers proceeded to go on an 8-0 run and punch the lead into double digits thanks in large part to Buck.

Red Wing would have had a bigger lead at the half but went 1 for 7 at the free throw line.  They finished the game 8 of 15 and Faribault was 2 of 7.

Faribault rotated defenders on Buck in the second half and she tallied all 11 of her points during that stretch.  Buck had three 3 point baskets and two free throws for her points.

Faribault did cut the lead to single digits with 7:08 to go but Red Wing Head Coach Jesse Nelson took a time out and drew up a play that got the Wingers three points and they were back to a double digit advantage.

The difference in the game was offensive execution.  Red Wing ran their offense well resulting in either layups or open look three point baskets.  The Wingers had 9 three pointers and the Falcons 5 in the game.  Faribault's offense had little movement at times and I thought the Falcons dribbled too much in the first half.  By that I mean dribbling without a purpose.

5'7 senior Grace Amacher scored 12 points and became Faribault high school's all-time leading girls basketball scorer with 1265 career points.  Surpassing Sara Boldt's previous record.  Boldt went on to have a fantastic career at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter.

Amacher will be playing in the same league for the St. Catherine University Wildcats along with Lauren Isaacson.  Isaacson had 8 points, Rachel Hanson finished the game with 9 points and 6'0 sophomore Zoe Fronk added 6 points in the game.

Red Wing will play Northfield for the Section 1AAA title Thursday, March 8 at the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester.  Tip-off scheduled for 6:00 p.m.  The top seed Raiders had no trouble with Austin Saturday winning 80-44.  Red Wing was the #2 seed and Faribault #3 seed in the tournament.

The Section 1AAAA title game will feature top seed Lakeville North and #2 seed Farmington. The Tigers bested the Lakeville South Cougars 45-41 while the Panthers defeated Owatonna 73-55.

Megan Gehrke will sign a national letter of intent Monday morning to attend St. Thomas University and participate with their outstanding Track and Field team.  Gehrke placed at the MInnesota High School Track meet last season in both the Discus and Shot Put and hopes for a return trip in the spring.  The All-State swimmer also contemplated being on the swim team, but was convinced by her Tommie coaches that with a neuroscience course of study one sport will be plenty.

The five seniors were named our Faribault State Farm Insurance agents Faribault players of the game.  Hanson, Isaacson, Bresnahan, Gehrke and Amacher.  The young ladies have provided great role models for their younger teammates through an example of playing hard all the time and being excellent students in the classroom.

I know I'm going to miss their smiling faces in the gym.

Falcon Seniors L to R: Rachel Hanson, Lauren Isaacson, Megan Gehrke, Bre Bresnahan and Grace Amacher. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld