By PATRICK SLACK
There was no coasting into the postseason for the Upsala girls basketball team, Monday.
The sixth-ranked Cardinals, with a perfect Prairie Conference record already locked up, traveled to third-ranked Parkers Prairie for one final tune-up before postseason play.
If there was the slightest doubt left that Upsala belonged with the state’s elite, it was erased with a stunning 82-78 overtime victory in which the Cardinals set the school record for wins with 25.
Upsala started the game strong, taking a 35-28 lead into the half, but the Panthers were not about to go away, taking a 71-69 lead with 3.2 second remaining.
After the Parkers Prairie basket, Upsala junior Aimee Pelzer threw the ball to senior Kimmy Mrozek to inbound, sprinted up the court and received a pass at mid-court.
Pelzer then dribbled up court and sank a layup to just beat the buzzer and send the game into overtime.
In the extra session, Pelzer hit 6-of-6 free throws and Mrozek put in four points as Upsala picked up the win.
Pelzer finished the game with an astounding 39 points, seven rebounds and six assists.
Mrozek followed with 14 points and junior Tracy Herzog had a double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds.
Seniors Kaitlyn Wuebkers (10) and Donna Ripplinger (4) and junior Sadie Welinski (2) also provided scoring for Upsala.
“This was such an amazing victory,” Upsala head coach Paul Pelzer said.
Upsala is scheduled to open Sub-Section 5A West action Thursday with a 7 p.m. home game against Verndale.
Upsala 82, Parkers Prairie 78
Upsala 35 36 11 – 82
Parkers 28 43 7 – 78
Upsala—Aimee Pelzer, 39 (7 rebounds, 6 assists); Kimmy Mrozek, 14; Tracy Herzog, 13 (13 rebounds); Kaitlyn Wuebkers, 10; Donna Ripplinger, 4; Sadie Welinski, 2.