Written By: Magnus Hansen

Three-Peat Complete! The Lady Lions captured their third state championship on March 16th. This capped off a historic season with an 81-78 victory over the Albany Huskies. 

The starters gather together on the court to pray before tip off. PAW Photo Credit: Tierney Dennison.

“We had the highest expectations going into the season; anything but a championship would be a disappointment,” Captain Hope Counts, ‘25, said.

Hope Counts, ’25, moves around defender and looks to the hoop for an opportunity. PAW Photo Credit: Tierney Dennison.

Providence Academy entered the 5AA section tournament with a 22-4 record and as the number 1 seed in their section. The first two games gave the Lions little difficulty as they defeated the Dassel-Cokato Chargers 95-38, and the Holy Family Fire 84-53. With these two wins, the Lions were set to face off against the 2 seed, Jordan Jaguars. Augsburg Arena would be host to one of the toughest tests the Lions faced in the playoffs. However, they handled business defeating Jordan 101-84 in a back-and-forth battle.

“It felt great to win the tournament again but it was expected and none of us were thinking anything less,” Emma Millerbernd, ‘27, said.

The Lions received the one seed entering their fourth consecutive State Tournament. And were matched up to play a tough Perham Hornets team. 

Brooke Hoheneker, ‘24, said, “You get excited every time you play in the State Tournament, but when it’s the fourth time in a row the nerves start to go away.”

In an unexpected battle in the first round, the Lions prevailed over Perham 94-84, then quickly handled Crosby-Ironton 92-54 behind 30 points, 10 rebounds, and 9 assists from Sophomore Maddyn Greenway. The Lions’ win allowed them to rematch the Albany Huskies in the State Championship game.

Maddyn Greenway, ’26, takes a shot while two defenders attempt to stop her. PAW Photo Credit: Tierney Dennison.

“I hoped we would play Albany in the Championship because I wanted to beat them,” Greenway said.

On Saturday, March 26, the Lions faced off against the Huskies in Williams Arena. The game started all Albany as the Huskies took the lead into halftime 55-44. Then, in the second half the Providence Lions mounted a comeback with big shots from Counts and Hoheneker. However, Albany held a one point lead with 15 seconds remaining. With the State Tournament on the line, Greenway drove right and made the go ahead lay-up to take the first Providence lead of the game. After a failed game-winner by the Albany Huskies, the Lady Lions were crowned three-time state champions. Capping off the end of a historic season at the top of Minnesota basketball.