1976 Girls State Basketball Tournament

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First girls' state basketball tournament that was on par with the boys' tourney and featured women who have helped shaped the face of girls' and boys' athletics from then to now. St. Paul Central's team included Teresa Tierney, one of the best female athletes NOT to play collegiate sports, and mother of Twins catcher Joe Mauer; Linda Roberts, star center for U of M Gophers women's basketball team; three-time Wade Trophy finalist and recent inductee to the U of M Sports Hall of Fame Lisa Lissimore; Associate Director of MN High School League Yolande Bruce; and jazz singer/former Moore by Four member Rita Burch and Gwen Crowe Peterson, co-founders of Summit University Girls' Athletic League SUGAA, that sparked revitalization of girls' athletics amongst inner-city girls in St. Paul. This was the first girls' team to play boys' style basketball with jump shots, blocked shots, strong rebounds and tenacious defense. The fact that video from televised games was not archived is indicative of sexism that existed in girls' athletics, which this team helped reverse with their sportsmanship, scholarship and continued contributions to the community both on and off the court.
~Rita Burch, St. Paul, MN


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