By PATRICK SLACK
Upsala withstood a 32-9 mid-game flurry to win a rematch of last year’s Section 5A finals over visiting Isle 52-48, Thursday.
Upsala got off to a blazing start, sinking the first six points as it got off to a 17-4 lead.
Isle whittled the margin down to 17-10, but a 14-3 run by the Cardinals extended the gap to 30-13.
However, any hint of a rout was quickly dispelled as the Huskies refused to go away quietly, rattling off 11 unanswered points to close the half, then the opening five of the second to pull within one at 30-29.
The two teams began trading baskets until Isle drew even at 39-39 with 10:15, before finally taking its first lead with 8:18 to go.
The Huskies continued to blanket the Upsala offense, opening up a six-point spread at 45-39, until a pair of free throws by senior Tracy Herzog stopped the Isle run and turned the tide.
Senior Aimee Pelzer sank three free throws on consecutive possessions to pull Upsala back within one, then Herzog fed junior Katie Ripplinger in the paint for a layup to put the Cardinals back on top 46-45 with 5:26 to go.
Ripplinger proceeded to steal the inbounds pass and draw contact for a foul, draining a pair of free throws to make it 48-45, then Upsala melted down the clock to seal the victory.
Pelzer delivered a triple-double with 27 points, 13 rebounds and 10 steals, shooting 8-of-13 from the field and 10-of-13 at the free-throw line.
Herzog finished with seven points and eight rebounds, with Ripplinger (6), seniors Sadie Welinski (5) and Alissa Zehrer (3) and sophomores Sara Herzog (2) and Brooke Westrich (2) also scoring.
Westrich pulled down eight rebounds and Zehrer grabbed six, with Ripplinger recording three steals.
Upsala 52, Isle 48
Isle 24 24 – 48
Upsala 30 22 – 52
Upsala—Aimee Pelzer, 27 (13 rebounds, 10 steals, 3 assists); Tracy Herzog, 7 (8 rebounds, 3 assists); Katie Ripplinger, 6 (3 steals); Sadie Welinski, 5; Alissa Zehrer, 3 (6 rebounds); Sara Herzog, 2; Brooke Westrich, 2 (8 rebounds).