ALGONA - After falling behind 17-8 in the first quarter, Class 3A No. 9 Spirit Lake stepped up both the offense and defense against Garner-Hayfield/Ventura in Saturday's region final in Algona.
The Indians cut the deficit to three, 26-23, by halftime and then held the Cardinals to just 11 second-half points. Spirit Lake led 39-31 after three quarters and won 51-37.
KJ Veldman led the Indians with 25 points. While she was just 4-of-16 from the field, the senior finished 17-of-17 from the free-throw line.
Alissa Christoffer and Kendra Stokke each scored six points while Joie Veldman had five, Emma Dau had four, Jessie Kabele had three and Bailey Loveall had two.
Veldman also had a team-high 10 rebounds and six steals. Christoffer had three steals.
Bri Bier led Garner-Hayfield/Ventura with 13 points.
Spirit Lake (16-8) will face Lakes Conference rival Estherville Lincoln Central (21-3) at 5 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 26 at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines for the opening round of the girls state basketball tournament.