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Younger Dreier comes out on top in basketball showdown

New London-Spicer head coach Mike Dreier, left, talks with his son, Mike, the Annandale head coach, prior to their Wright County Conference game on Thursday in New London. Annandale jumped out to a big lead and held on to earn a 39-28 win and improve to 15-1. (CLAY CUNNINGHAM | TRIBUNE)

NEW LONDON — With 853 career wins, New London-Spicer girls basketball coach Mike Dreier is by far the winningest coach in Minnesota history.

And though he’s more than 100 wins clear of anyone else, a member of his family has prevented him from widening the gap even further.

Led by Dreier’s son Matt, Annandale earned a season sweep of NLS, riding a dominant defensive effort to a 39-28 win Thursday in a Wright County Conference contest.

The Wildcat offense was out of sorts the entire first half, turning the ball over 13 times while making just three field goals.

After dealing with their own offensive issues early, the Cardinals put together a 12-0 run that helped them grab a 22-8 lead at the break.

NLS came out much stronger early in the second half, and following back-to-back 3-pointers by Shea Oman and Alyssa Fredrick, it pulled within 28-25.

But that would be as close as the game got, as Annandale scored 11 of the last 14 points to stay within striking distance of WCC West leader Watertown-Mayer.

Annandale is 7-1 in conference play, while Watertown is 7-0. The loss dropped NLS to 5-3.

Though they keep in regular contact throughout the season, the Dreiers never discuss strategy, and Mike says their personal relationship has no impact on how these matchups are coached.

“I’m very proud of the job he does, but during the game, you don’t think about something like that,” he said. “You just think about our team versus their team.”

And while he’s happy to have gotten the better of these initial matchups, Matt says he won’t hold the outcomes over his dad’s head at future family gatherings.

“He has plenty of bragging rights on me for the rest of my life, so I’ll stay away from that for now,” he said.

Annandale 39, NLS 28

Annandale (7-1, 15-1) 22 17 — 39

NLS (5-3, 13-5) 8 20 — 28


Scoring: Emma Atkinson 7, Hannah Purcell 16, Brittany Reimer 4, Kamryn D’Heilly 12 … 3-point shots: Atkinson 2, Reimer 1 … Rebound leaders: Purcell 7, Reimer 7, D’Heilly 7 … Assist leaders: Allie Spaulding 3, Purcell 2, Reimer 2 … Steal leaders: Reimer 3, D’Heilly 2

New London-Spicer

Scoring: Shea Oman 5, Brooke Beuning 3, Alyssa Fredrick 3, Megan Thorson 10, Kabrie Weber 2, Erin Tebben 4, Morgan Swenson 1 … 3-point shots: Oman 1, Beuning 1, Fredrick 1 … Rebound leaders: Tebben 5, Weber 4 … Assist leaders: Fredrick 3 … Steal leaders: Swenson 2, Oman 2, Thorson 2