State champion Athletics too much for the Knights

Published 11:06 pm Friday, November 30, 2018

Late comeback attempt falls short for Alden-Conger/Glenville-Emmons


ALDEN — Coming off a season-opening win in its first year as a co-op program, the Alden-Conger/Glenville-Emmons girls’ basketball team faced a tough task of taking on the defending Class A state champions in Lyle-Pacelli.

Email newsletter signup

Despite a furious comeback attempt late by the Knights, they were unable to erase enough of the Athletics’ lead, falling 58-45.

The Knights started the scoring in the game with an easy basket under the hoop from senior Erika Bute. However, a handful of early turnovers stopped any chances of the Knights building any momentum.

The Alden-Conger/Glenville-Emmons defense played well through a majority of the opening portion of the game, but offensive struggles kept AC/GE from keeping pace. Lyle-Pacelli slowly started to build a lead by running the transition game to near perfection.

Missed opportunities at the line and under the basket cost the Knights many points in the first half, converting on less than 40 percent at the line and missing multiple put back attempts. The Athletics, however, were capitalizing on several trips to the free-throw line and starting to gain momentum with seven minutes remaining in the half.

The Knights’ Erika Bute runs point during Friday’s game in Alden. – Colleen Harrison/Albert Lea Tribune

The Knights called a timeout as the Athletics opened up an 11-point lead, and it seemed to slow them down for a short time. The Knights defense continued to play well, but was unable to find any open shots at the other end of the court.

Three back-to-back threes late in the first half from Lyle-Pacelli junior Olivia Christianson, who finished with 36 points, shot a boost of energy through the team, sending it to the break up 34-14 over the Knights.

AC/GE came out in the second half to much better offensive play. Bute and sophomore Abbie Theusch went on a 9-2 run themselves to open the half, cutting the Lyle-Pacelli lead to 13 points.

The Athletics built their lead back up, however, going back up by 21 points with under eight minutes remaining.

Just when it seemed like the Athletics were going to run away with the game, big baskets from Bute, Theusch, junior Chloe Anderson and senior Megan Linn brought the lead back down to single digits with three minutes remaining, getting the fans on their feet.

However, the Athletics converted on the free-throw line, ending the Knights’ comeback attempt.

Bute led the team in scoring with 15 points; Theusch had 10, Linn and Anderson recorded seven, and seniors Autumn Soost and Halee Miller and junior Mikenna Erickson each had two.

The Knights fall to 1-1 on the season and will be back on the court Tuesday when they host the Cardinals of LeRoy-Ostrander.

About Tyler Julson

Tyler Julson covers sports for the Albert Lea Tribune.

email author More by Tyler