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A tale of two halves for Tigers

The Albert Lea girls’ basketball team hosted Red Wing Tuesday night in what looked like a game the Tigers were going to run away with.

However, a 13-point halftime lead wasn’t enough to keep the Tigers on top after a rough second half, falling to the Wingers 61-52.

The two teams opened up the game by trading the lead back-and-forth through the first five minutes.

With the scored all knotted up 9-9 at the 13-minute mark, the Tigers started pulling away thanks to some stellar offensive work by junior Annika Veldman and sophomore Kendall Kenis, and defensive play from juniors Jordan Juveland and Taya Jeffrey.

From the 13-minute mark down to the 2-minute mark, the Tigers went on a 21-4 run, with Kenis scoring 11 of those points and Veldman scoring six, and Jeffrey was seemingly pulling down every defensive rebound.

With the score now 30-13 with two minutes remaining before halftime, the Wingers started to close the gap slightly, but the Tigers still had a 13-point lead heading to the locker rooms, 33-20.

Coming out in the second half, the Wingers started to play their best game, closing the lead to a single digit less than two minutes into play.

Albert Lea found its footing, however, extending the lead back to 14 points over the next few possessions.

Slowly but surely, the Wingers started to claw their way back into the game. Over the course of the next six minutes of play, Red Wing went on a 18-4 run to tie the game with 6:10 remaining.

The Wingers sent the Tigers reeling, hitting a three-point shot to take the lead back for the first time since the opening minutes of the game.

Red Wing kept extending the lead further and further out of reach for Albert Lea. The Tigers had a few chances to hit some big shots that would have brought them back into the game. The shots bounced in and around the rim, but did not fall, leaving the Tigers trailing. Albert Lea went on to drop the game by nine points.

The Tigers outscored the Wingers 33-20 in the first half, but were then outscored themselves 41-19.

Kenis led the team in scoring with 18 points, while also adding two steals. Jeffrey recorded a double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds. Veldman had 13 points and six rebounds, while Juveland had 10 points. Eighth grader Nevaeh Wacholz had five rebounds and three steals.

The Tigers fall to 1-7 on the season with five of those losses coming by 10 points or less. They will be back on the court Friday when they host the 0-7 Falcons of Faribault.

About Tyler Julson

Tyler Julson covers sports for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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