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Girls Basketball: Albany devours Wildcats in Wild-Card title game

West Central Tribune Wild-Card Tournament MVP Amazih Eickhoff crashes into New London-Spicer’s Kabrie Weber (33) and picks up a foul in the second half of the championship game Saturday in Willmar. Tribune photo by Rand Middleton

WILLMAR — The Albany Huskies put on a clinic on attacking the 2-3 zone on Saturday evening in the West Central Tribune Wild-Card Tournament.

Using quick, accurate passes and uncanny shooting inside and out, the Huskies rolled by the New London-Spicer Wildcats 65-45, ending the Wildcats’ three-year reign in the 22nd edition of the Willmar/New London-Spicer holiday foursome.

The Huskies jumped out 15-3 and made 15 of 27 first-half shots to lead 40-25 at the break.

Out of the halftime locker room, senior guard Amazih Eickhoff sank a three-pointer seeming to announce that there would be no letup in the Albany assault.

Taylor Thunstedt, the Wildcats’ 2,000-point scorer, tried to bring her team back but her 29 points were not nearly enough. The senior did hit 6 three-pointers but also threw up a couple of air balls and no one else could find the target for the Wildcats, who lost for the first time this season. Megan Thorson’s six points were next in the scoring column.

The Huskies showed balance with six players scoring six or more points topped by Eickhoff with 12, Emily Schoenberg and Sidney Schiffler with 11 each and freshman center Erin Navratil with 10.

The Section 8AAA Huskies looked in March tournament form with the precise ball work done without hesitation from point-to-point.

Under first-year head coach Aaron Biyum, the Huskies improved to 7-0. The young Battle Lake native spent the previous five years as an assistant coach at Warren-Alvardo-Oslo. Meanwhile, NLS head coach Mike Dreier remains at 797 career wins after Friday’s 50-46 win vs. Minnehaha.

“We shot and shared the ball well,” said Biyum. “We played smart and I thought we were very unselfish.”


Amazih Eickhoff, Albany; Erin Navratil, Albany; Sidney Schiffler, Albany; Taylor Thunstedt, New London-Spicer; Sarah Kaminski, Minnehaha Academy; MVP: Eickhoff

Attendance: 494 on Thursday for the boys tournament; 950 Friday for the four boys and girls games; and 367 for the two girls games on Saturday evening.

Albany 65, NLS 45

Albany (7-0)       40 25 — 65

NLS (5-1)              25 20 — 45

ALBANY – 24-49 FG (6-14 3-pt); 11-15  FT; 28 rebounds; 11 fouls … Scoring: Emily Schoenberg 11, Amazih Eickhoff 12, Abby Silvers 2, Vanessa Spohn 8, Sidney Schiffler 11, Kayla Reber 6, Erin Navratil 10, Liz DeGeeswt 2, Rilei Larsen 3 … 3-point shots: Schiffler 3, Spohn 2, Schoenberg 1 … Rebound leaders: Eickhoff 6, Navratil 6 … Assist leaders: Navratil 5

NEW LONDON-SPICER – 17-48 FG (7-18 3-pt); 4-9 FT; 30 rebounds; 15 fouls … Scoring: Reiley Ness 3, Taylor Thunstedt 29, Tori King 2, Megan Thorson 6, Ashlyn Geister 2, Olivia Setterberg 3 … 3-point shots: Ness 1, Thunstedt 6 … Rebound leaders: Thorson 8, Thunstedt 8, King 4, Geister 5, Setterberg 5 … Assist leaders: Thunstedt 2, Brianna Fredrick 2

Rand Middleton
Tribune photographer/videographer. Began working in radio and at weekly newspaper in Munising, Michigan, in 1972. Started parttime at West Central Daily Tribune Sept. 1974. Fulltime news/sports beginning Feb. 1979. Married to Tribune news clerk Donna (Miller) Middleton, formerly of Kerkhoven. 2 grown children. 
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