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Benilde-St. Margaret's girls basketball defeats DeLaSalle in Class 3A championship

The Red Knights win their second straight title as Olivia Olson leads with 30 points

MINNEAPOLIS — The Benilde-St. Margaret's Red Knights defeated the DeLaSalle Islanders 81-58 in the MSHSL Class 3A girls basketball state championship on Saturday at Williams Arena. 

It's the Red Knights fourth state title in school history and second in a row. 

"Winning is hard, and we were ready, so I am super proud," Red Knights coach Tim Ellefson said.

DeLaSalle's leading scorer this season, Aneisha Scott, picked up her third foul of the game with 11 minutes remaining in the first. She sat the remainder of the half, but the Islanders kept the Red Knights from pulling way in the first half, they entered halftime down 44-39. 

"I thought in the first half we battled hard and stayed in it and stayed in the fight," DeLaSalle coach James Fassett said.

In the second half, Scott picked up her fourth foul with 13 minutes remaining in the game, but this time the Islanders could not keep the Red Knights from a run. 

Benilde-St. Margaret's outscored the Islanders 27-8 over the next 10 minutes. Even with Scott returning, the Red Knights defense kept the Islanders to 31 percent shooting in the second half. 

"We could feel them tiring out, and that gave us more motivation with all the fastbreak, layups and steals," Red Knights coach Kate Kapsner said. "… I could feel them wearing down physically and mentally."

The Red Knights season could've been much different. Senior Olivia Olson broke her hand one minute into the season, but she recovered in time to lead the Knights to another state championship. 

“It’s crazy to think that it’s over now, but I’m glad I am able to be back and help our team win," Olson said. 

Olivia Olson finished with 30 points for the Red Knights. Pressley Watkins added 16 points. Scott led DeLaSalle with 15 points. 

The Red Knights will have to play without Olson next season. She is off to play at the University of Michigan, but Ellefson is hopeful her legacy will last beyond her play on the court.

"Everything she touches is with grace," Ellefson said. "She sets a great example for everyone. She’s the jokester and likes to have fun, but she also knows when she likes to compete. She’s irreplacable. … Something to build a program around."

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- Jack Butler | | @Butler917