Spartans outlast Tigers
Published 9:46 pm Friday, January 3, 2014
Despite a 19-point effort from point guard Bryn Woodside, the Albert Lea girls’ basketball team lost 52-46 against Rochester Mayo on Friday at home.
Cold shooting from the field hurt the Tigers early. Through the game’s opening 6 minutes, Albert Lea was shut out.
“We had a very slow start,” said Albert Lea head coach Lindsey Hugstad-Vaa. “Our shots weren’t falling, but our defense played pretty well.”
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Megan Kortan broke the ice to score the Tigers’ first points of the game on a drive to the basket, and at the 10-minute mark Rochester Mayo led 12-2.
Woodside propelled Albert Lea on a 9-1 run that cut its deficit to two points (13-11) with a 15-foot jumper, a 3-pointer and a transition layup after a steal.
“It was all my teammates,” Woodside said humbly about scoring eight straight points.
Along with leading the team in scoring, Woodside led the Tigers with six steals.
“She just plays tough defense,” Hugstad-Vaa said about Woodside. “Every possession, she’ll play defense and be aggressive, and we need everyone to do that. Everyone needs to be focused. That’s our goal.”
Sydney Rehnelt added five points on a pair of free throws late in the half, but Rochester Mayo hit back-to-back 3-pointers to take a 24-16 lead at halftime.
The fire Albert Lea lacked in the opening minutes of the first half was in full force early in the second. The Tigers scored the first nine points of the second half to take their first lead of the game, 25-24.
Rochester Mayo took the lead back 28-27, but Albert Lea stayed in the game with consistent free-throw shooting. On the evening, the Tigers were 12 of 13 from the charity stripe. Rehnelt and Woodside combined for 11 of those shots and both players shot 100 percent.
“That was good to see, but it shouldn’t have had to come down to that,” Hugstad-Vaa said.
The Tigers hit another cold streak late in the game and the Spartans’ lead ballooned back to 10 points.
Rochester Mayo (5-5 overall, 3-1 Big Nine Conference) won its second straight game.
Hugstad-Vaa said she’d like to see her players get position to improve on the glass.
“In the second half, we attacked more and our offense flowed better, but we didn’t do as good of a job boxing out,” she said. “We just needed to do the little things in the first half not to make us down by so many points.
The game was Albert Lea’s first outing since Dec. 19 because the Tigers didn’t participate in a holiday tournament. However, Albert Lea scrimmaged Kenyon-Wanamingo on Tuesday.
“It was nice to play someone different and get back into the swing of things,” Hugstad-Vaa said. “We were a little winded and weren’t clicking together as well together as we had. We’ll get that back.”
The Tigers will not have practice on Monday because school has been canceled. However, Hugstad-Vaa said the girls can practice on their own.
Albert Lea (2-5 overall, 1-3 Big Nine Conference) lost two games in a row and will look to rebound at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Mankato West.
Mankato West (3-6 overall, 2-3 Big Nine Conference) began the season with two losses, won three of its next four and lost three straight after that. The Scarlets are coming off a 58-43 loss Friday at Rochester John Marshall.
Statistics are in the Scoreboard: Jan. 3 post.