Tigers fall to Rockets

Published 2:16 am Friday, January 25, 2013

Sydney Rehnelt, a junior guard from Albert Lea, shoots over a defender from Rochester John Marshall. Rehnelt earned a team-high 26 points for the Tigers in a 70-44 loss. -- Micah Bader/Albert Lea Tribune

The Albert Lea girls’ basketball team lost a Big 9 Conference rematch to Rochester John Marshall 70-44 on Thursday.

When the teams met Dec. 21, the Rockets escaped with a 54-52 win at Rochester.

“Last time it was close, and we had a chance to win,” Albert Lea girls’ head basketball coach Lindsey Hugstad-Vaa said. “But this time, we just didn’t show up as strong for the entire game.”

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At halftime, the Tigers only trailed by two possessions (28-22).

However, the Rockets caught fire from beyond the arc early in the second half.

“They came out and hit three 3-pointers,” Hugstad-Vaa said. “We started to get down, and it just compuonded.”

After John Marshall built a 30-point lead, the Tigers began to earn trips to the free-throw line. Trips that Hugstead Vaa would have liked to see earlier in the game.

Bryn Woodside prepares to drive to into the lane against Rochester John Marshall. Woodside earned two points, three rebounds, three assists and one steal. -- Micah Bader/Albert Lea Tribune

“It was really physical,” Hugstad-Vaa said. They have some big kids who could push their way around.”

Despite the 26-point difference on the scoreboard, Albert Lea had positives on both sides of the court.

Offensively, junior guard Sydney Rehnelt scored 26 points, going 4-of-7 from beyond the arc.

“She was attacking and getting to the line,” Hugstead-Vaa said.

Rehnelt was 10-of-12 from the charity stripe. She also earned six rebounds and three steals.

Dom Villareal led the Tigers with 13 boards along with three points, two assists and one steal.

“The kids crashed the boards hard,” Hugstad-Vaa said. “Dom had six offensive boards, which is awesome.”

After starting the season with a record of 4-7, The Tigers worked back to .500 (7-7). Now, Albert Lea is in the midst of a three-game slide.

Next, the Tigers play at No. 4 Red Wing on Jan 29 at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday. The Wingers are 14-3 coming off a 70-52 loss at Chanhassen.