Gallery: Rebels top Knights

Published 9:34 pm Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Anissa Janzig of United South Central shoots over an Alden-Conger defender Tuesday at Alden. — Micah Bader/Albert Lea Tribune

Anissa Janzig of United South Central shoots over an Alden-Conger defender Tuesday at Alden. — Micah Bader/Albert Lea Tribune

ALDEN — After withstanding an early storm of 3-pointers by Alden-Conger, the United South Central girls’ basketball team responded by clamping down on defense and producing its highest scoring output of the season.

Anissa Janzig scored a game-high 23 points on Tuesday to lead the Rebels past the Knights 71-44 at Alden.

“Even though we scored 71 points, I think our defense was the key in shutting down that 3-point barrage that they came out with,” said USC coach Stu Hendrickson. “We couldn’t back off and let their kids take open shots.”

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Alden-Conger’s Kelsey Newman buried 3-pointers on three consecutive possessions to give the Knights a 15-11 lead with 10 minutes left in the first half.

USC recovered to take a 16-15 advantage, but Alden-Conger recaptured the lead when Cassie Gilster hit a jumper from long range.

“We started out on fire, so that was good to see,” said Knights coach Jenny Hovendick. “The place that we can find some openings and have some success is on the perimeter.”

With seven minutes left in the first half, Alden-Conger led 22-18. However, a 3-pointer by Taylor Schultz spurred a 12-0 run by the Rebels, and USC led 35-24 at halftime.

Schultz said strong play on the inside produced good looks from the outside. She led the Rebels’ backcourt with 14 points, four rebounds and two assists.

“They double- and even triple-teamed our posts, so that leaves us open on the perimeter,” Schultz said.

USC scored the first five points of the second half, and a put-back by Schultz gave the Rebels a 20-point lead with nine minutes left in regulation, 56-36.

Liesel Theusch led Alden-Conger with 15 points and was 7-of-9 from the charity stripe.

“She did a nice job taking her game to the perimeter, scoring off the dribble a little bit and getting to the free throw line,” Hovendick said.

Janzig not only posted a team-high 23 points, she also tied two teammates — Shianne Robertson and Lauren Allis — with a team-high eight rebounds. Robertson added 15 points, and Allis posted a game-high three blocks.

United South Central (8-6, 3-3 Gopher Conference) is third in the seven-team conference standings. None of the Rebels’ losses have been against teams with losing records.

“We’ve lost six games, and five of those have been single-digit losses to some good teams,” Hendrickson said. “We’d lost two in a row coming into this. So we really needed this win.”

Alden-Conger (4-9, 3-4 Valley Conference) is eighth in the 11-team conference standings.

Despite the loss, Hovendick said the Knights can build on the positive aspects of the game they showed.

“They kept battling,” she said. “They didn’t get down. They enjoy the game whether we’re up 20, down 20 or somewhere in the middle. It’s a fun group to work with.”

Next, USC will host Triton (1-14, 0-9 Hiawatha Valley League) at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Alden-Conger will host Martin Luther (5-7, 3-4 Valley Conference) at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.