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Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa had the Rangers of Mountain Iron-Buhl right where it wanted them, on the brink of elimination. The Jaguars had an 11-point lead with 10 minutes remaining.

The Jaguars went into protection mode. It cost them.

The Rangers, ranked first in Class 1A and seeded No. 1 in the tournament, made a 14-point run over a five-minute span, rallying for a 61-57 victory in the Class 1A girls basketball state tournament semifinals Friday at Williams Arena.

"They tightened up their defense, and we got a little tight," Jaguars coach Kristina Anderson said. "It was a perfect storm."

The Jaguars put up ill-advised shots, going 0-for-8, and turned the ball over three times during the spurt. The momentum they had was lost. The Rangers ended the game on a 24-9 run.

"We needed to get the momentum on our side," Rangers coach Jeff Buffetta said. "Hopefully, it was going to swing."

Junior guard Jordan Zubich's three-point play gave the Rangers (29-3) a 49-48 lead with 5 minutes, 49 seconds remaining. It was their first lead since the midway point of the first half. Zubich, committed to North Carolina for college, finished with 17 points and four assists, including a perfect bounce pass to junior forward Gabby Lira for a layup to conclude the 14-point run and stretch the lead to three.

"One of our strengths is to get out in transition," Zubich said. "We were not able to do that in the first half. We capitalized on it in the second half."

Senior guard Sage Ganyo led the Rangers with 23 points. Her free throw with 8.5 seconds remaining sealed the comeback victory.

"The message was to stay calm," Buffetta said. "We have a lot of experience on this team. We wore them down as the game went on."

Senior guard Abby Berge paced the 10th-ranked Jaguars (26-5) with 18 points. Classmate Harley Roering's three-pointer gave the Jaguars a 48-37 lead with 9:59 remaining. She finished with 12 points on four three-pointers.

The Jaguars lost to Mountain Iron-Buhl 84-62 at the Granite Classic in December, when the Rangers made 14 three-pointers. They only had four in the semifinal victory.

"We took a little offense to that first meeting," Anderson said. "We got out on their shooters more effectively and didn't want to allow them to get out in transition. They were able to leak out in transition. Before you knew it, it was a 14-0 run."