All's well that ends well.
The St. Thomas women opened the year as prohibitive favorites to win the MIAC title, and that's just what they did Saturday afternoon, beating Concordia (Moorhead) 58-50 in the playoff final. But the path to the title was anything but what was expected back in November.
The Tommies under coach Ruth Sinn somehow lost 3 out of 4 during 1 stretch in January, falling as far as 4th place in the MIAC. But they righted themselves in time to win 9 straight down the stretch to get the 2nd seed for the playoffs. A 1st round bye and the home court for the conference semi helped the Tommies to beat St. Mary's 69-60.
But the they found themselves trailed the Cobbers most of the way including 43-37 and 45-41 approaching the halfway mark of the 2nd half. Undaunted, the Tommies ripped off 12 straight points to lead by 8. Concordia fought back to within 53-50 but turned it over, missed a potential game-tying 3 and then turned it over again, and St. Thomas hit 5-of-6 throws inside of 22 seconds for the final.
Kellie Ring of St. Thomas and Emily Thesing of Concordia each scored 16 points while Tricia Sorenson of Concordia had 8 points and 9 boards.
Now comes the wait to see who, if anyone, from the MIAC joins the Tommies in the NCAA D3 tournament, and when and where they'll play.
Player of the Day: DeLaSalle boys hammered Mpls. Washburn 83-42 in a repeat of last year's Class AAA state final as PoD Reid Travis poured in 36 points.
Coach of the Day: Dave Thoreson, DeLaSalle boys, has the Islanders poised to repeat as champions of Class AAA.