Girls Basketball: NLS 1 win from state tourney
GRANITE FALLS -- Smothering defense and streaky stretches of 3-point shooting sprung the New London-Spicer girls basketball team to a 54-36 victory over Montevideo in the Section 3AA-North title game Friday at Yellow Medicine East High School.
GRANITE FALLS - Smothering defense and streaky stretches of 3-point shooting sprung the New London-Spicer girls basketball team to a 54-36 victory over Montevideo in the Section 3AA-North title game Friday at Yellow Medicine East High School.
The Thunder Hawks, who scored just 10 points in the first half of a Dec. 8 loss to NLS, came out much stronger this time around, using an early 7-0 run to jump ahead 9-3.
Though NLS coach Mike Dreier said a big reason for the slow start was his team “trying to score from 30 feet when there was a four-foot shot available,” strong outside shooting eventually proved pivotal in helping the Wildcats establish control of the game.
Aided by a pair of Shea Oman triples, the ’Cats went on a 12-0 run late in the first half, catapulting them to a 22-17 halftime lead.
The run extended into the second half, when two Alyssa Fredrick 3’s sparked an 8-0 run that essentially iced the game.
Fredrick, Oman and Megan Thorson were the only NLS players to hit field goals. Fredrick finished with 15 points, Thorson had 14 and Oman 12.
Fredrick also had a game-high five assists while Oman led all players with four steals.
Dreier said the outside shooting provided “a psychological boost and a psychological bummer both ways.”
Monte coach Corey Enberg said another reason for the momentum shift was a suffocating NLS defense that forced his team to play at a slower pace than he wanted to see.
“We got out of our game plan,” Enberg said. “We ended up falling into New London Spicer’s (trap). They came out and played an excellent game.”
Abby Olson led the Hawks with 11 points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals.
The loss was a lowlight of an otherwise strong season for Montevideo, which finished 19-6 in Enberg’s first year as head coach.
The Wildcats improve to 22-6 and will face 25-3 Tracy-Milroy-Balaton in Thursday’s section title game that tips at 5 p.m. at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall.
Dreier, a 15-time section champ, said his team’s ability to overcome early adversity is a good sign, as it looks to make a return trip to the state tournament.
“Our kids really showed a lot of heart and soul tonight,” he said. “I’m just really pleased with how they played.”
NLS 54, Montevideo 36
Montevideo (19-6) 17 19 - 36
NLS (22-6) 22 32 - 54
Scoring: Ashley McKee 8, Morgan Reidinger 2, Abby Olson 11, Nikki Erickson 4, Lexi Quigley 7, Alexis Schmitz 2, Emmy Enevoldsen 2 … 3-point shots: Olson 1 … Rebound leader: Olson 6, Erickson 4, Quigley 4 … Assist leader: Olson 2, Reidinger 2 … Steal leader: Olson 2
Scoring: Shea Oman 12, Alyssa Fredrick 15, Megan Thorson 14, Morgan Swenson 5, Brooke Beuning 2, Kabrie Weber 2, Erin Tebben 2, Mariah Adams 2 … 3-point shots: Fredrick 3, Oman 2 … Rebound leader: Swenson 8, Thorson 8, Weber 7 … Assist leader: Fredrick 5, Kabrie Weber 3 … Steal leader: Oman 4