Panthers claw their way to state championshipPublished 11:14pm Friday, March 15, 2013
MINNEAPOLIS —The New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva girls’ basketball team clawed its way to the state championship by beating Minneapolis Washburn 69-60 in the Class AA semifinals on Friday.
In the first half, Washburn took control by building a 10-4 lead, while Jade Schultz of NRHEG iced her knee on the bench. She did not return to the game.
“She (Jade) is typically our leading rebounder and second-leading scorer,” NRHEG head coach John Schultz said. “So, the load was on Carlie. We basically rode her offensively and no one could defend her.”
Carlie Wagner went off for 48 points to tie the single-game scoring record she set in 2012. It was also one point shy of her scoring total in a dominating performance over St. Peter in the sectional final.
Other Panthers also stepped up. Hannah Lundberg grabbed 11 boards, Paige Overgaard earned seven points, and Katie Cole added six rebounds.
“Our supporting cast did an excellent job setting her (Carlie) up offensively, and being there for the dish on drives as much as we could,” coach Schultz said.
Despite inspired performances by NRHEG to make up for Jade’s absence, Washburn didn’t go quietly.
A 3-pointer by Paige Overgaard kept the Panthers in reach at the 11-minute mark with a 15-11 deficit.
NRHEG started to get its transition game going late in the first half with a steal by Maddie Wagner, which resulted in a Carlie Wagner layup to bring the Panthers within three points (21-18).
A jumper by Carlie tied the game at 21, in a physical first half. Maddie and Marnie Wagner each had three fouls in the opening period.
A 3-pointer by Katie Cole gave the Panthers their first lead, and NRHEG headed into the locker room with a 32-29 lead.
In the second half, NRHEG took its first double-digit lead (50-39) on a layup in transition by Overgaard.
“I thought they (Washburn) got back on defense and defended the fast-break in the first half,” coach Schultz said. “In the second half, I think we just out-worked them and got down there quicker.”
The Millers cut their deficit to two points, but the Panthers were able to outlast them at the free throw line.
Carlie led all players by going 17-of-21 at the charity stripe, in addition to earning 13 rebounds (5 offensive), an assist and a team-high four steals.
The game was physical, as each team committed 26 fouls, and 73 total free-throws were attempted.
Next, the No. 2 Panthers (31-1) played No.3 Braham (32-0) at the Target Center for the Class AA Championship at 2 p.m. Saturday.
“It’s going to be a high-scoring event, I think,” coach Schultz said. “I hope we have enough energy to run with them tomorrow. We’re certainly going to try to do that.”
NRHEG and Braham haven’t played yet this season, but they met each other at the state tournament in 2012, and the Panthers won 75-45.
“We’re going to put some stock into it (our win),” Coach Schultz said. “We just need to give these kids a boost. We’re missing a few players. Two starters are out on our squad from the beginning of the year.”\
2AA State Semifinals: New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva 69, Minneapolis Washburn 60
NRHEG 32 37 — 69
Minneapolis Washburn 29 31 — 60
NRHEG stats: Carlie Wagner 48 points, 13 rebounds, 1 assist, 4 steals; Paige Overgaard 7 points, 4 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 block; Hannah Lundberg 5 points, 11 rebounds; Katie Cole 4 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist; Marnie Wagner 3 points, 2 rebounds; Maddie Wagner 2 points, 6 rebounds, 1 steal.
MW stats: Natalie Holdahl 17 points, 5 rebounds; Chase Coley 16 points, 19 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 5 blocks; Megan Lucas 14 points, 7 rebounds; Audrey DeVaughn 6 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals; Lucia Renikoff 6 points, 7 rebounds, 1 steal; Kenda Zellner-Smith 1 point, 2 rebounds.
Points off turnovers: NRHEG 22, Minneapolis Washburn 20
Points in paint: NRHEG 22, Minneapolis Washburn 24
Second-chance points: NRHEG 14, Minneapolis Washburn 19
Fast-break points: NRHEG 2, Minneapolis Washburn 4
Bench points: NRHEG 5,
Minneapolis Washburn 1
Field-goal percentage: NRHEG 26.7, Minneapolis Washburn 33.9
3-point percentage: NRHEG 4.2, Minneapolis Washburn 23.1
Free-throw percentage: NRHEG 77.1, Minneapolis Washburn 63.2