Girls win section opener

Milaca’s girls basketball team defeated Moose Lake-Willow River 55-49 in the first round of the Section 7AA Tournament Wednesday night (Feb. 27) at Moose Lake.

The Wolves, who finished regular-season play 6-19, were seeded No. 6 in Sub-Section while Moose Lake-Willow River, 17-9, was seeded No. 3.

Milaca will now face Aitkin in the quarterfinals Saturday, March 2, at 1 p.m. at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Aitkins, seeded No. 2 in Sub-Section 1, topped Hinckley-Finlayson 62-30 Wednesday night at Aitkin. The Gobblers defeated Milaca earlier this season at the Aitkin Holiday Tournament.

In other first-round games Wednesday, Eveleth-Gilbert stopped Two Harbors 47-41, Esko rolled over Duluth Marshall 76-14, Virginia stopped Greenway 65-45, International Falls handled Deer River 74-50, Rush City stopped Mora 63-60 and Braham trimmed Pine City 77-19.

In other quarterfinal games Saturday at Duluth, Eveleth-Gilbert meets Esko at 2:45, Virginia faces International Falls at 6 and Rush City meet Braham at 7:45.

Semifinal games are Tuesday, March 5, at 6 and 7:45 at Minnesota-Duluth. The championship game is Thursday, March 7, at 7 p.m. at Minnesota Duluth.

The Wolves lost three games last week to end the regular season.

Maple Lake topped Milaca 55-45 in a non-conference game Tuesday, Feb. 19, at Milaca.

Ninth-grade center Molly Banks paced the Wolves with 16 points and 10 rebounds while sophomore guard Ashley Cassens scored 11 points and sophomore forward Makayla Paggen had seven points.

Albany, which won the Granite Ridge Conference title with a 16-0 record, trimmed Milaca 64-22 Thursday, Feb. 21, at Albany.

Banks totaled 10 points to lead Milaca.

The Wolves bounced back Friday, and battled GRC runner-up St. Cloud Cathedral before falling 64-57 at Cathedral.

Paggen led a balanced offense with 18 points while Banks and Cassens each had 11 points and sophomore guard Alex Ploeger had nine.

Paggen also had nine rebounds while Banks had eight.

Milaca finished 2-14 in GRC play.