STATE A CHAMPIONSHIP: Third time the charm for Hamlin in thriller over Wagner
Chargers top Red Raiders 58-55
WATERTOWN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - After championship game heartbreak in the last two seasons, the third time was indeed the charm for the Hamlin Charger girls basketball team in 2023.
Playing in their third consecutive State A Championship the Hamlin Chargers held off Wagner 58-55 in a thriller to finish off a perfect 25-0 season and bring home the program’s third state title (first since 2005).
Hamlin’s Kami Wadsworth led all scorers with 17 points. Brooklyn Brandreit added 14 points and Ally Abraham scored 12.
Ashlyn Koupal led Wagner (24-2) with 14 points.
The game was back and forth for much of the first half. The Red Raiders raced out to a 20-14 lead, only to be outscored by Hamlin 20-13 in the second quarter and trail the Chargers 34-33 at the break.
Hamlin appeared to take control in the third quarter by opening with a 12-4 run to go up by nine. Wagner ended the quarter on a 6-0 spurt of their own to pull within 46-43 heading into the fourth and final quarter.
Four times the Red Raiders cut the lead down to one. Every time Hamlin was able to hang on to the lead. After a pair of free throws by Wadsworth gave the Chargers a three point lead, Wagner had a chance to tie with 8 seconds left. Hamlin defended it well and Emma Yost never got a clean look to tie at the buzzer.
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