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NLA girls basketball: Section 4A playoffs start March 7

For the first time in school history, New Life Academy girls basketball team boasts three 1,000-point scorers on the same squad. Guard Jenny Ramey (left) cracked the plateau last season and became the program's all-time leading scorer earlier this season. Forward Cara Lutes (center) went over 1,000 in January and forward Danielle Schmidt joined the club in an 84-54 win over Heritage Christian Academy on Feb. 17.

The second season has come at last for the New Life Academy girls basketball team as the Eagles, ranked fourth in Class A, enter the Section 4 playoffs on March 7 at home against either No. 4 St. Agnes or No. 5 Minnesota Transitions.

It will be the final home game of the season for New Life, who, barring an upset, will play the Section 4A subsection final on March 10 at Fridley High School with the sectional championship to be decided on March 13 at Hamline University.

The Eagles are the defending Section 4A champions after winning their bracket last March en route to a third-place finish in the Class A State Tournament.

New Life enters this postseason in fine form with a 22-4 record after earning a 62-58 victory over Parkers Prairie, ranked seventh in Class A, on Feb. 28 at NLA.

Guard Jenny Ramey led the Eagles with 25 points in the victory, with forwards Cara Lutes and Danielle Schmidt contributing 14 and 10 points, respectively.

The victory closed out a perfect February for New Life, culminating a nine-game winning streak that also included a 72-58 post-Minnesota Christian Athletic Association Tournament win over Holy Family Catholic on Feb. 24.

Honors befitting the dominant conference champion came the Eagles' way last week as Ramey, Lutes and Danielle Schmidt were named first team All-MCAA, with guard Danielle Cathey being selected to the second team and guard Rebekah Schmidt earning All-MCAA honorable mention.

NLA boys third in MCAA playoffs

The New Life Academy boys basketball team reached the conclusion of its regular season with a third-place conference playoff finish in hand and a record just below even.

It was a good run for the Eagles in the Minnesota Christian Athletic Association Tournament, which concluded Feb. 28 with a 58-43 victory over host Heritage Christian Academy in the third-place game.

New Life improved on its regular-season conference standing by one place with the victory and broke even record-wise at 12-12.

However, the Eagles could not get over the .500 mark to close out the regular season as a 58-35 loss to PACT Charter on March 2 dropped NLA to 12-13 heading into the Section 4A playoffs, which are set to begin March 12 against an opponent that was yet to be determined as the Bulletin went to press.

Three members of the Eagles team were honored by the MCAA as senior forward Robbie Anderstrom was selected as first team all-conference team, with senior guard Ryan Furlong named to the second team. Junior guard Kory Kiekhofer earned honorable mention to round out the MCAA honorees.