Portland St. Patrick clinched a share of their first CMAC girls basketball title since 2008 with a 46-34 win at Laingsburg in the regular-season finale Thursday night.
The Shamrocks, who end the season ranked fourth in Class D, will split the title with Pewamo-Westphalia, who handed them their only loss of the regular season.
St. Pats coach Al Schrauben said that the CMAC crown bodes well for his team’s upcoming postseason.
“I think that if you go through this league in Class D and you’re able to compete, you’re in pretty good shape going into the tournament,” Schrauben said. “P-W is an excellent team, and it’s probably justice that we share the title.”
Courtney Dixon led all scorers with 13 points and Danielle Simon added 12 for the Shamrocks (19-1 overall, 15-1 CMAC), who started the contest on a 12-2 run and never trailed in the game.
Laingsburg climbed back into it from beyond the arc, scoring nine straight points with a 3-pointer from Sara Hurst and two in a row from Julia Angst to close the gap to a single point with 6:35 left in the second quarter.
But St. Pats would hold them to just one more field goal in the rest of the half and take a 24-15 lead at the break. Laingsburg (13-7, 11-5) never threatened again.
The Wolfpack went into the game shorthanded, suffering two major injuries in their previous game, a heartbreaking 34-31 loss at P-W on Tuesday in which leading scorer Madison Dingman tore her ACL and Jordyn Rouse suffered a concussion.
“Honestly, I thought we played well, with everything we’ve been through in the last couple of days,” Laingsburg coach Doug Hurst said. “You could tell that we were fatigued, we didn’t run the same, and St. Pats is quick. I just think the girls ran out of gas a little bit. St. Pats is a great team, we had to be on our game tonight to have a chance, and we weren’t.”
Although his team lost its last two games of the regular season, Hurst said that they can still do some damage in the districts. Laingsburg starts out against MSAC champion and former CMAC rival Carson City-Crystal on Monday.
“I think if we can get rested in those three days, Carson City had better not underestimate us,” he said.
St. Pats hopes to build on last year’s tournament run, which ended in the Class D semifinals.