Lakeville North Girls’ basketball was not able to pull out a victory in the state semi-final Thursday night, against Elk River. They lost the close game 57-56. The Panthers came into the game with only two losses on the season, but the Elk’s had not lost a single game all year and at the end of the day that was too much for the Panthers to overcome.
The game was back and forth the entire time, but Elk River was able to prevail in the last minute of the game. The last seconds of the game were action packed with Elk River only being able to win by a single point. However, North had their chances to win the game late. With only 4 seconds left in the game, down by one, Panther freshman, Lauren Jensen, scored a mid-range jumper, only to have it called back by the officials due to a split second timeout called by North coach, Shelly Clemons.
“Probably the wrong call on my part, but at the same time I wanted to make sure my team had a chance,” said Clemons. And North did get their chance. On an inbound play to senior, Temi Carda, she went up for the shot only to be blocked and ending up with her back on the floor.
“I think she got hammered,” said Clemons. “If it’s clearly a foul it needs to be called.” But no call was made, leading to a one point loss for Lakeville. Clemons stated she doesn’t like to put it all on the officials though.
“I truly believe that what is going to happen always happens,” said Clemons. “And it was just Elk Rivers time.
Unfortunately, for the three seniors on the team their time in a North uniform was up.
“Its our last hurrah, our last go around,” said senior Caitlyn Peterson. The other two players leaving at the end of this season are Olivia Bruce and Temi Carda.
“You just want to give everything you have, but sometimes everything you have isn’t enough, which is what happened to us,” said Carda.
It’s a sad defeat for the Panthers who were looking to make it to the state championship and for the seniors who were in tears after the game.
“This stings,” Clemons said. “It hasn’t even really hit home for me, yet, but losing this way is really losing in the worst way.”