Tigers topple Huskies

Published 12:25 am Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The second half hasn’t been memorable in a lot of games for the Albert Lea girls’ basketball team, but a pair of seniors made Tuesday’s second half against Owatonna a significant one.

Tigers seniors Abbey Arends and Morgan Stadheim combined to score 21 of Albert Lea’s 27 second half points to lift the team to a 51-49 victory over the Big Nine Conference leading Huskies at Albert Lea High School.

Albert Lea trailed by three at halftime, but a 12-0 run to start the second half gave the Tigers a 36-27 lead and helped them hand Owatonna just its second conference loss. Arends led the way on that run, scoring eight of her game-high 18 points.

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Arends, who scored 30 points and 37 points in her last two games, scored 14 of her points in the second half, and collected 11 rebounds to record her third double-double of the year.

“Last game they held her to six (points),” said Albert Lea head coach Sean Gillam. “They can’t hold her to that twice. She’s that good of a player.”

With the Owatonna defense keyed on Arends, it allowed Stadheim to attack the basket.

Stadheim scored in double figures in points for the 15th time this season with 12 points and collected six rebounds.

Though Arends’ and Stadheim’s scoring stood out, Arends said rebounding served as the biggest difference maker.

“Rebounding won the games for us, that’s it,” Arends said. “Everybody did a great job hitting the boards and that’s what won us the game.”

Albert Lea (10-10 overall, 8-6 Big Nine) dominated the glass, outrebounding Owatonna 42-29. That led the Tigers to 17 second chance opportunities, as they limited the Huskies to only five chances.

Owatonna didn’t score its first points of the second half until the 11 minute, 20 second mark.

The Tigers play Rochester John Marshall Tuesday, a team they defeated 50-48 in Rochester.

Albert Lea 51, Owatonna 49

Owatonna 27 22 — 49

Albert Lea 24 27 — 51

Owatonna scoring: Trisha Benjamin 17, Courtney Hayford 12, Sarah McCann 7, Katie Rockensock 7, Vanessa Brage 2, Dani Buswell 2, Sam Anderson 2.

Albert Lea scoring: Abbey Arends 18, Morgan Stadheim 12, Alyssa Sager 8, Skyler Anderson 4, Taylor Friehl 4, Mikaela Pierson 4, Sarah Wenum 1.