ROCHESTER, Minnesota— Lake graduate Hayley St. John, an Owens Community College 5-foot-11 sophomore, was named to the NJCAA Division III national All-Tournament Team after the Express finished in fourth place.
Owens lost their consolation championship game to Riverland Saturday, 69-65, despite leading heading into the final stanza, which saw an exchange of three-point goals and lead changes.
St. John led Owens’ starters with a double-double 15 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and two steals, but it was not enough in her final game as an Express.
Ameriona Frierson led Owens in scoring, coming off the bench to put up 16 points, making 7-of-9 field goals.
Owens led 46-45 entering the final stanza, but Riverland’s Cayli Miles hit a three-point shot 15 seconds into the quarter to put Riverdale up 48-45.
Later, Owens’ Brooklyn Green hit a triple of her own, assisted by Malorie Schroeder, to tie the score at 50-50 with 8:05 remaining.
On another assist by Schroeder, BreAna Clemons hit another triple for the Express, giving Owens a 53-50 lead 37 seconds later.
Savannah Longhoma hit a triple for Riverland with 6:04 remaining, tying the score at 55-all. But Green responded with another trey of her own, this time assisted by St. John, to put the Express back on top, 58-55, with 5:11 on the clock.
Riverdale did not regain the lead until Reana Schmitt hit two free throws with 2:38 left, putting her team on top, 60-58. The Express could never regain the lead again but stayed within one or two possessions.
Frierson made a layup, assisted by St. John, closing the gap to two, 67-65, with 13 seconds remaining, but Miles connected on two free throws with seven seconds left to put the game on ice for Riverland.
Riverland finishes the season third in the national tournament and 24-6, while Owens, the defending D-III national champions and No. 1 ranked team coming into the tournament, finishes fourth and 20-7.
Owens shot 47% (24-for-51) from the floor, including an amazing 10-for-15 from the arc (67%), despite making just 7-of-17 free throws (41%).
Green was 4-for-6 from downtown, Keianna Sheridan was 3-for-3, and St. John connected on the only triple she attempted. Owens also won the rebounding battle, 33-28, but had 20 turnovers to Riverland’s 13.
For Owens, Green had 14 points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals, Sheridan had 12 points and four rebounds, Clemons had six points, five rebounds and three assists, and Schroeder had two points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Longhoma led Riverland with 22 points and two steals, making 8-of-14 shots, including 6-for-9 from downtown.
Miles had 15 points, three assists and three steals, and Schmitt had a double-double 13 points, 10 rebounds, two assists and she blocked three shots.