Carlie Wagner of New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva prepares to drive into the lane against Brittany Buesgens, a Waterville-Elysian defender. Wagner scored 28 points and earned nine rebounds, five assists and six steals. -- Micah Bader/Albert Lea Tribune

Panthers dominate Bucs

Published 2:43am Wednesday, February 13, 2013

NEW RICHLAND — The New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva girls’ basketball team beat Waterville-Elysian-Morristown 73-44 in a Gopher Conference matchup on Tuesday.

Both teams had trouble scoring early, as game remained scoreless about two minutes into the contest.

Maddie Wagner of New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva shoots over a defender from Waterville-Elysian-Morristown on Tuesday. Wagner scored eight points for the Panthers. -- Micah Bader/Albert Lea Tribune

“You can’t always shoot the ball well, but you can always rebound and work hard,” NRHEG head coach John Schultz said. “That’s what kept us on top tonight.”

Eighth-grade guard Maddie Wagner jump started the Panthers with a three-point play and a basket from downtown on consecutive possesstion to give NRHEG an 8-2 lead.

The Panthers never trailed.

NRHEG built a 12-4 advantage on a transition dish from Jade Schultz to Carlie Wagner. The Buccanneers cut their deficit to six points (14-8), but that was as close as the game would get.

The Panthers went on a 27-14 run until halftime.

NRHEG took an 18-point lead on a put-back by senior forward Katie Cole.

“We focussed on hitting the boards hard,” Cole said. “I usually pass the ball a lot, but tonight it was nice to get the ball back and take some shots.”

Cole finished second on the team in scoring with 13 points, while Carlie Wagner earned a game-high 28 points.

Carlie also earned a team-high nine rebounds and added five assists and six steals.

In the second half, the Panthers maintained their lead.

NRHEG is on a roll. The Panthers have won 21 straight games, including an impressive 18-point win over No. 5 (Class A) Goodhue on Saturday.

NRHEG is ranked No. 2 in Class AA with an overall record of 23-1.

Next, the Panthers host Blooming Prairie at 7:15 p.m. on Friday.

Jade Schultz of New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva dribbles the ball around the perimeter during the Panther's 73-44 win over Waterville-Elysian-Morristown on Tuesday. Schultz earned 11 points, eight rebounds and five assists. -- Micah Bader/Albert Lea Tribune