LCWM will look to Harazin, Cooper in first-round clash with No. 1 Providence Academy

Published: Mar. 12, 2023 at 8:59 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - The Minnesota State High School League girls’ state basketball tournament is just days away and Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial is set to face top-ranked Providence Academy in the first round of the Class AA bracket.

On Friday, the No. 9 Knights added another trophy to their case after taking home back-to-back Section 2AA championships on the Bresnan Arena hardwood. LCWM was tasked with a battle-tested Southwest Christian team — and the Knights proved they belonged with a 48-40 victory.

“We can take a lot away from this game, because they [Southwest Christian] has played a lot of those schools, and they played them tough,” said LCWM head coach Pete Goeringer. “They played in a bigger conference with 2A schools and played some of the tough 2A schools that are going to be at state. Just knowing that we competed with them and won will help us with whoever we match up with at state.”

Since last season, where the Knights went one-and-done in the Class AA tournament losing to Minnehaha Academy, LCWM boasts a much-improved defense, making a run in with the tournament favorites in the first round a big help.

“Since our defense is better this year, we’ll be able to add that much more heat as we’re playing and be able to play better defense, but I just think going into state, we have a better mindset now because we’ve been there before,” said Knights’ senior guard Olivia Harazin. “We know the competition is obviously going to be way better than it is in our section.”

While Providence Academy is home to the state’s second-leading scorer in Maddyn Greenway, the Knights have veterans Harazin and Lauren Cooper leading the way.

The star duo is more motivated entering this year’s tournament than ever before.

“It’s our senior year,” added LCWM senior guard Cooper. “It’s our last chance at playing basketball and finishing off our season, so we just want to play with out teammates in the time that we can and we want to just finish off our seasons as best as we can in high school.”

The Knights and Lions tip off March 15 at 6 p.m. inside Williams Arena at the U of M.