Despite a massive comeback, La Crosse Central fell to DeForest 43-42 in the WIAA Division 2 Girls state semifinals at the Resch Center in Green Bay.
Playing in their first game at the state tournament since 1995, the Red Raiders started slowly. DeForest capitalized on Central turnovers and took an early 19-6 lead. But the Red Raiders rallied back, thanks in part to seven straight points scored by Jenna Kramer. Central cut the deficit to 29-25 at halftime.
"I was just on tonight and it was a great night to be on," Kramer said.
"We got down early but we've been down a lot before," said senior Brittany Baldwin. "So we just had to keep our head up and we knew we'd go on a run sooner or later."
Central stayed hot in the second half. The game was tied at 42 with 2.5 seconds left. But DeForest’s Jordanna Midthun drove to the basket, drew a foul, and hit one of two free throws to seal it. Central's last-second heave fell short.
"Just making it here is a great accomplishment for us. We weren't sure that we would even make it here. I'm really proud of my team," Brittany Baldwin said.
"We're going to look back on this season for years and years," Kramer said. "We're not going to hang our heads about anything."
The Red Raiders finish the year 21-6.