The Holy Angels girls basketball team can hang a championship banner in the Convocation Center’s gymnasium thanks to Laura Bagwell-Katalinich’s 25 points and 16 rebounds that led the Stars to a 51-43 win over the Winona Winhawks in the Class AAA championship game Saturday night at Williams Arena on the University of Minnesota campus.
It was the first state title for the Richfield based school since 1975, when the school was nicknamed the Co-Stars and girls basketball was a one class sport.
Bagwll-Katalinich, who will play for the Penn Quakers next season would have her future head coach Mike McLaughlin proud when she scored the first basket :58 into the game. The Winhawks, the number two seed, opened the game in a diagonal 2-1-2 defense but Bagwell-Katalinich put it through the shredder with five straight points. They did get their offense rolling with a three pointer from Justine Schultz. Emma Dalenberg would also hit a shot from Highway 280 to cut the lead to one and Schultz would score to put Winona ahead on a 5-0 run. Bagwell-Katalinich would score on a rebound to give Holy Angels the lead. Hallee Hoeppner would hit a free throw to tie the game at 10 and Megan Meyer would score to put the Stars ahead. Holy Angels second Megan, Megan Thompson would hit a pair of free throws to spark a 4-0 run. A basket by Winona’s Danneka Voegeli would end the run. The Stars would go on another scoring binge when Bagwell-Katalinich scored six straight points and Destinee Oberg scored from underneath the basket. Voegeli would play a role to round out the Winhawks first half scoring as she would tlly and pick up an assist on Hoeppner’s basket. Holy Angels led at halftime 22-18.
The Stars came out shining in the second half as they began with a 5-0 run that started with Oberg’s basket :30 into the half and a three point play from Sarah Spanier. Hoeppner would begin Winona’s scoring with a three pointer. Oberg would make a great, long pass from the backcourt to Meyer and she would score the deuce. Selena Lor would score her only basket of the game for the Winhawks to cut the lead to six. But it was Bagwell-Katalinich who would provide the clincher for veteran head coach Dan Woods by scoring six of the Stars next eight points. Meyer would hit two free throws to put them on an 8-0 run. Eden Nibbelink would help would help Winona nibble a bit at Holy Angels lead as she scored on an underhanded lay up. They would also get a couple of three pointers from Maria Appicelli and Abby Winter but they couldn’t come close to bringing the championship trophy don the Mississippi River.
Hoeppner led Winona with 15 points.
In the third place game played at Ganglehoff Center on the Concordia University campus in St. Paul, the Thief River Falls Prowlers beat the Becker Bulldogs 56-42.