Monroe girls advance to State Title game

Jamie Armstrong made only six 3-pointers in 25 games prior to the state tournament.

But the 6-foot-1 sophomore hit two today to spark Monroe to a nail-biting 49-47 victory over Altoona in the Division 2 semifinals of the Wisconsin State Girls Basketball Tournament.

Monroe (21-5) will play Freedom (24-2) for the title Saturday afternoon. Freedom beat defending champion and previously undefeated Grafton 65-61 in overtime in Friday's first semifinal.

The Cheesemakers never trailed, but they let a 35-16 lead get chopped to one with 1:35 to play. Then with 42 seconds left and the score 45-44, Armstrong lofted a 3-pointer. Although it didn't end the excitement, it was the decisive blow for Monroe.

A free throw by Kyleigh Sellnow made it 49-44 and the Railroaders (22-3) made it closer when Monica Rasmussen scored on a layup and, after a turnover with 1.9 seconds to play, the game had a strange finish. Tiffany Gregorich was fouled with two-tenths of a second left, but she was shooting inside the 3-point line.

She made the first and intentionally missed the second as a tip attempt to tie went awry as the final horn sounded.

Armstrong and Ashley Hermanson led Monroe with 17 points apiece. They also combined for 20 rebounds, 11 by Armstrong.

Tiffany Gregorich had 16 points, Brittany Gregorich 11 and Aimee Reyzer 10 for Altoona, which rallied after Armstrong's first 3-pointer put Monroe ahead 35-16.

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