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Wildcat girls fall to Royals

New London-Spicer guard Taylor Thunstedt drives and passes against Watertown-Mayer's Chelsea Wandersee in the first half in New London on Thursday. The Royals, the No. 4-ranked team in Class A, defeated the Wildcats 65-54, despite Thunstedt's 31 points.

NEW LONDON -- New London-Spicer played well against one of the state's top Class AA teams for much of the night Thursday. But even the smallest errors and most brief breakdowns can doom a team against Marissa Janning and her Watertown-Mayer teammates.

Janning, one of the state's all-time top scorers, netted 29 points and had seven steals in the Royals' 65-54 non-conference win over the Wildcats.

The Wildcats ended the regular season 17-8 and are the No. 1 seed in the 6AA South Sub-Section. They play St. John's Prep at 7 p.m. on March 1 in New London.

The Royals won their 16th straight game and are 23-3 overall.

Janning is one of just 10 players to surpass 3,000 career points and she is the state's career record-holder in 3-pointers. She made two plays near the end of the first half that opened up a tight game.

NLS trailed 36-32 and had the ball in the final minutes when Janning made a steal and a layup, then another basket as the clock wound down to put the Royals up eight.

"That made a big difference," said NLS head coach Mike Dreier. "That frustrating for old coaches, but that's the way it goes."

NLS' Taylor Thunstedt was every bit Janning's equal on Thursday, scoring 31 points and picking up 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals.

Amanda Radel had 12 points and Lydia Kieft had 9 rebounds and 3 assists.

"We played OK except for the turnovers," Dreier said. "We competed."

Watertown-Mayer 65, New London-Spicer 54

Watertown-Mayer (23-3) 40 25 -- 65

NL-Spicer (17-8) 32 22 -- 54

WATERTOWN-MAYER - 22-58 FG (7-30 3-pt); 14-19 FT; 44 rebounds; 16 fouls ... Scoring: Hannah Johnson 5, Shelby Norman 8, Kate Theisen 21, Marissa Janning 29, Emily Tschida 2 ... 3-point shots: Johnson 1, Norman 2, Theisen 4 ... Rebound leaders: Theisen 10, Janning 6 ... Assist leaders: Janning 3 ... Steal leaders: Janning 7

NEW LONDON-SPICER - 16-51 FG (8-29 3-pt); 14-18 FT; 37 rebounds; 15 fouls ... Scoring: Taylor Thunstedt 31, Lydia Kieft 2, Amanda Radel 12, Brianna Fredrick, 3, Olivia Setterberg 6 ... 3-point shots: Thunstedt 5, Radel 2, Fredrick 1 ... Rebound leaders: Kieft 9, Thorson 6, Jessica Johnson 5, Thunstedt 5 ... Assist leaders: Thunstedt 5, Kieft 3, Radel 3 ... Steal leaders: Thunstedt 3