GIRLS' BASKETBALL: Adrian advances past Westbrook-Walnut Grove
WORTHINGTON -- Adrian's girls' basketball team already has surpassed its own expectations this season.
The Dragons finished the regular season with only one loss, and just two of their victories came by fewer than 10 points. They went undefeated in the Red Rock Conference (17-0), and they earned the No. 1 seed in the Section 3A South tournament.
Adrian opened postseason play on Saturday with a 65-47 victory over eighth-seeded Westbrook-Walnut Grove, earning a trip to the sub-section semifinals.
Adrian will face fourth-seeded Murray County Central at 6 p.m. Tuesday in Luverne.
Despite doing better than they initially expected and achieving some relatively modest goals, the Dragons aren't satisfied. Instead, the goals are getting loftier, and the Dragons are beginning to get greedy.
"Our goals were kind of lower-set early in the season," Adrian senior guard Erica Thier said. "But when we started winning a lot, we set them higher."
The Dragons are a victory away from reaching the sub-section title game for the second consecutive season. They haven't won the sub-section championship since 2000.
"I think we have lofty goals set for ourselves," Adrian coach Randy Strand said. "These girls have played a lot of basketball. When they play well together, they can do a lot of things, and they proved that over the season.
"I don't think we originally planned on losing just one game and going undefeated in the conference. Even if you get beat at this time, they've put a hell of a year together for themselves -- there are a lot of teams in the state of Minnesota that would take it. But I don't think they're satisfied yet."
Adrian earned a measure of satisfaction -- and revenge -- on Saturday. The Chargers were one of the two teams that hung with Adrian until the final buzzer during the regular season. W-WG missed the potential game-tying 3-pointer as time expired Jan. 26 in Westbrook, and the Dragons escaped with a 66-63 victory.
"I think it made us a little more excited to play them -- a revenge kind of deal," Adrian senior guard Sam Lynn said. "We were a little unhappy with how we played against them the first time."
Added Thier: "I just wanted to destroy them."
Lynn scored a game-high 18 points, Karli Meyer had 15, Thier added 14, and Adrian held the Chargers to only five field goals in the second half en route to an 18-point victory.
Each team came out clicking offensively.
The Dragons made their first nine shots from the field, but the Chargers made six of their first 11 attempts to keep the game close.
W-WG's Audra Schmidt scored in the paint, and after an Adrian turnover, she passed to Kassandra Jarmer for a bucket to cut Adrian's lead to 20-15 with 10:58 remaining.
Adrian then implemented a full-court zone press, and the Chargers immediately went cold.
W-WG committed five turnovers and went scoreless over the ensuing 4:39, and Meyer scored five consecutive points to spark an 8-0 Adrian run.
Lynn hit a 3-pointer in the right corner on an assist from Thier, and after a W-WG turnover, Thier scored a layup in transition to cap a 17-5 run and give Adrian a 37-20 lead. But the Dragons went 0-for-7 from the field and failed to score in the final 4:08 of the first half, and the Chargers scored seven unanswered points to cut the deficit to 10 at halftime.
W-WG never got any closer.
The Chargers committed nine turnovers and missed nine of their first 10 shots from the field to open the second half, and Lynn capped a 12-4 run with a layup to give the Dragons an 18-point lead with 10:35 remaining in the game.
W-WG never cut the deficit to fewer than 14 points, and Adrian led by as many as 19 points en route to the victory.
"I kind of figured we owed them one from how we played up (in Westbrook) because it definitely wasn't our best game -- we wanted to come out harder than that," Meyer said. "I'd say our defense was probably better, and we did better running our offense, but we came out in the second half right away and made them turn it over a bunch of times in a row, and that led to our points."
The Chargers committed 28 turnovers -- 14 in each half -- and shot 32.6 percent (16 of 49) in the game. They went 11-for-15 from the free-throw line but connected on just four of 18 shots from beyond the arc and went 5-for-24 from the field in the second half.
Kylie Erickson, who scored eight points in the first half, finished the game with 10 points, and Chanel Madson added eight points on 3-of-9 shooting for W-WG.
Schmidt, one of the most prolific scorers in the Red Rock Conference, finished with a team-high 15 points. The senior center went 4-for-15 from the field, including 1-for-8 in the second half, and fell just four points shy of becoming the all-time leading scorer in W-WG girls' basketball history.
"We knew we had to get out in front of her and make sure someone was behind her because she's obviously their big scorer and rebounder," Meyer said. "So she was one of our focuses, but we couldn't forget about other people because if they sit out there and shoot, they're going to make them."
Ashley Thier scored nine points, and Katy Slater added eight for Adrian, which went 23-for-51 (45 percent) from the field, 4-for-17 (23.5 percent) from beyond the arc and 15-for-27 (55.5 percent) from the free-throw line.
The Dragons now will prepare for MCC, the only other team they defeated by fewer than 10 points during the regular season. They defeated the Rebels 58-51 on Jan. 16 in Adrian, but there's no telling if a second victory over MCC will bring them complete satisfaction.
"We're getting greedy," Lynn said, laughing. "But I think that's the way we've always been. We're never satisfied."
W-WG 27 20 -- 47
Adrian 37 28 -- 65
W-WG (3FG-2FG-FT-TP): Erickson, 0-4-2-10, Madson 2-1-0-8, M. Jarmer 1-1-0-5, K. Jarmer 0-2-0-4, Schmidt 0-4-7-15, Woelber 1-0-2-5. Totals: 4-12-11-47.
AHS (3FG-2FG-FT-TP): A. Thier 2-1-1-9, E. Thier 1-4-3-14, Lynn 1-6-3-18, Loosbrock 0-0-1-1, K. Slater 0-3-2-8, Meyer 0-5-5-15. Totals: 4-19-15-65.