Tigers end season against Winhawks

Published 10:06 am Thursday, March 3, 2016

While the Tigers’ season may have come to an end, their coach said the team has something to be proud of. 

The Winona girls’ basketball team defeated Albert Lea 72-26 Wednesday at Winona. The loss brought Albert Lea’s season record to 1-26 overall, and 0-22 in the Big Nine Conference.

The Tigers got off to a bit of a rough start, trailing the Winhawks 32-11 at the half. Albert Lea also had 29 turnovers, according to Albert Lea coach Gina Klennert.

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“Our kids came in ready to go,” Klennert said. “They may have been a bit too in awe of being a No. 8 seed playing a No. 1 seed, but they responded well after a shaky first-half start.”

The coach said that turning over and taking care of the ball may have been the team’s “kryptonite,” but that the team had a number of underclassmen step up when the Tigers needed it most.

A number of Albert Lea players missed the last two games of the season due to violations, which Klennert said put the rest of the team into a position to face some adversity heading into the postseason.

“We got really young really quick within the last week,” she said. “But the kids have responded really well; they’ve come together as a group. I’m very proud of how they’ve responded and how they finished off the last two games of the year.”

Klennert said players such as sophomore guard Rachel Rehnelt really stepped up as the Tigers neared the offseason.

“She did a lot of nice things leadership-wise,” she said. “It was nice to see, especially going into the offseason.”

Rehnelt led Albert Lea’s offense with eight points, and also contributed two rebounds and three steals.

“It’s been quite a ride with this group,” Klennert said. “Our future looks really bright.”

About Colleen Harrison

Colleen Harrison is the photo editor at the Albert Lea Tribune. She does photography and writes general-assignment stories.

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