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Girls basketball: Larson, ACGC outmuscle Bulldogs

(Tribune photo by Rand Middleton) Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City’s Sydney Larson reaches but can’t control this offensive rebound in the first half Monday in Grove City. The senior forward is reaching over Paynesville’s Rachel Rittenhouse while Erika Schlangen (3) positions in front of the Falcons’ Jacey Nelson.

GROVE CITY — Sydney Larson made the last basket of the first half and the last one of the second half Monday. The Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City Falcons sure needed both of them.

Larson, a senior forward approaching 1,000 career points, broke a late tie with a running layup and scored a game-high 21 points to help the Falcons outlast Paynesville 46-44 in an inter-West Central Conference game.

Larson earlier broke another tie as she split two Paynesville defenders to drain a shot just inside the half-court line at the buzzer to give ACGC, near the top in the South division, a 23-20 lead at halftime.

The Bulldogs (8-6) were in line to win their third straight game, but Larson broke a 44-44 tie by making a layup with 10 seconds left and the Falcons made a defensive stand.

Paynesville called a timeout to set up a play and got the ball to Erika Schlangen, but Erica Melbie partially blocked Schlangen’s shot near the free throw line as time expired.

Melbie trailed Larson with 10 points and also led the Falcons (7-9) with 4 assists and 2 steals. Larson added 6 rebounds while Katie Moore piled up 7 points and 5 rebounds.

Schlangen and Kayla Schaefer scored 10 points each and Brooke Wuertz and Rachel Ampe each pumped in 9 more to pace Paynesville.

ACGC 46, Paynesville 44

Paynesville (8-6)    20 24 — 44

ACGC (7-9)    23 23 — 46

PAYNESVILLE – 17-59 FG (1-7 3-pt); 9-15 FT; 33 rebounds; 12 fouls … Scoring: Erika Schlangen 10, Brooke Wuertz 9, Rachel Rittenhouse 4, Kayla Schaefer 10, Rachel Ampe 9, Bryanna Burg 2 … 3-point shots: Wuertz 1 … Rebound leaders: Rittenhouse 9, Schlangen 8, Ampe 7 … Assist leaders: Schlangen 4, Wuertz 3 … Steal leaders: Wuertz 4

ACGC – 20-48 FG (3-10 3-pt); 3-5 FT; 24 rebounds; 12 fouls … Scoring: Shelby Schroeder 6, Erica Melbie 10, Sydney Larson 21, Katie Moore 7, Jacey Nelson 2 … 3-point shots: Melbie 2, Larson 1 … Rebound leaders: Larson 6, Moore 5 … Assist leaders: Melbie 4 … Steal leaders: Melbie 2