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Woodbury girls lose heartbreaker at the buzzer

Carley West of Woodbury looks for help as she drives the lane against Apple Valley late in the second half Saturday, Dec. 30, 2017. John Molene / Contributor1 / 4
Guard Lexy Paulson of the Royals finds the going tough inside in the second half against Apple Valley in the consolation championship game of the Roseville tournament Saturday, Dec. 30, 2017. Apple Valley edged the Woodbury Royals 47-45. John Molene / Contributor2 / 4
Rachel Hakes of the Royals drives in for a basket against Apple Valley late in the second half Saturday, Dec. 30, 2017. John Molene / Contributor3 / 4
Junior guard Katie Vaske of Woodbury puts up a jump shot from the baseline in the first half Saturday against Apple Valley. John Molene / Contributor4 / 4

The first time these two teams met this season — a 58-55 Woodbury win back on Dec. 8—it was the Royals who made the clutch plays down the stretch.

Saturday night it was Apple Valley's turn.

Apple Valley went on an 11-2 run over the final four and a half minutes to edge the Woodbury Royals 47-45 in the consolation championship of the 2017 Roseville Holiday Girls basketball tournament.

Apple Valley's 6-3 junior forward Mykel Parham drained a short jump shot at the buzzer to break a 45-all tie and give the Eagles the win.

"It was a very aggressive battle," said Woodbury coach Megan Kirchenwitz. "I was proud of the way they battled through the whole game. Ending on a 10-1 run is frustrating. I think we did things very well defensively and we broke down and it started with giving up offensive boards, sending them to the free-throw line and then not handling the pressure and not doing things that we work on in practice.

"I think it's a learning experience for the kids," Kirchenwitz added. "(We need) to grow from it and move back into conference play."

Woodbury dropped a 52-36 decision to host Roseville to open the tournament Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017, then came back with a 59-50 win over Andover in the consolation round Friday.

For most of Saturday's game it looked like the Royals would take home a hard-fought win and the consolation championship. Woodbury led 25-22 at the half and 43-36 with 4:34 to play. But baskets, and even shots, would be hard to find for the Royals after that.

Woodbury led 45-22 with 1:02 to play, but star guard Rachel Hakes missed the front end of a 1-and-1. Woodbury's Katie Vaske missed a pair of free throws with 48 seconds left. Apple Valley center Bryanne Rolland made one of two free shots at the line to tie the game at 45-all with 27 seconds left.

Woodbury turned the ball over. Apple Valley looked like they might win it on a long three with 3.6 seconds left, but the basket was waved off because of a time-out call. The Eagles regrouped after the time out and Parham dropped in the game winner as time expired.

Hakes led Woodbury with 15 points. Solape Amusan added 12 before fouling out in the game's final minutes.

Hakes scored 23 and Amusan 11 as Woodbury dropped Andover 59-50 in a consolation round game Friday.

Host Roseville dominated the action in the first round Thursday, winning 52-36. Amusan led the Royals with 13 points, but Hakes was held to just two points.

Woodbury returns to SEC play Friday, going to Park (10-1) for a game starting at 7 p.m.

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