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Jocelyn Syrstad/Daily Globe Windom's Rachel Sorensen goes for a jumper versus Redwood Valley Tuesday in Windom.

Prep Girls' Basketball: Windom falls to RV 57-49

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WINDOM -- Abby Hayenga scored seconds into the game to put the Windom girls' basketball team on the board first Tuesday night.

The Eagles would maintain that lead for nearly the entire game. However, with 2 minutes, 23 seconds left in regulation, Redwood Valley's Sam Felt tied the game at 47-all after sinking two free-throws.

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From there, the Cardinals would go on a 10-2 run to close out the game and snag a 57-49 come-from-behind win over Windom.

"It was a great game played by both teams," Hayenga said. "There were just a couple of minutes where we didn't play our best and let a couple of key shots fall. They played well. We just didn't value the ball. We had some dumb turnovers and didn't key in on what we wanted to do there at the end."

In the final two minutes of play, RV's Steph Jensen hit a 3-pointer to give the Cardinals their first lead of the night. From there, Kayla Pohlen hit a bucket and Jensen, Liz Smith and Sam Felt combined to score five points for RV from the line.

The Cardinals were led by Smith, who had 21 points. Felt added 11 points, while Jensen had 10.

Windom (1-5) scored only four field goals in the final quarter of the game -- they also scored six points off of free-throws during that time -- and didn't make a bucket in the final five minutes of play. Hayenga was the last player to score from the field for the Eagles, and her basket came with 5:06 left to play (44-39).

Hayenga and teammate Kelsey Hanefeld said what caused the shift in momentum was that Windom was turning the ball over too much, and most of those turnovers were unforced and a result of poor ball-handling.

Windom head coach Jeff Husks credits the mental lapses at the end of the game to inexperience, saying the Eagles made "some young mistakes out there." Of 12 varsity athletes, only three are seniors. There were also three sophomores -- Hanefeld, Rachel Sorensen and Chelsey Fast -- that saw significant playing time for Windom.

But despite that, the Eagles knew the game could've easily been theirs, and, therefore, those mistakes won't escape their memories for a while.

"That's what so painful about a loss like this is the girls played hard enough to win and they played well enough to win," Huska said. "We just had a couple of poor decisions and bad turnovers. I just think in the second half, during crunch time, that's when we kind of had a couple of turnovers that were unnecessary and we didn't execute down the stretch like they did."

With Tuesday's game being a Southwest conference matchup, Windom knew exactly what it needed to do to slow down its opponent before the game even started.

Entering the game, Huska said his team's goals were to tightly defend RV's 3-point shots, which the Eagles did a good job of against a team that likes to shoot from outside the circle. They held the Cardinals to only one 3-pointer in the first half and four in the second.

In turn, the Eagles knew they needed to play overall tight defense and step up their offensive game as well.

Hayenga led Windom with 15 points and six rebounds. Sorensen added 10 points.

"We just had to follow through with our game plan and step it up," Hayenga said. "We did that for the most part, but a couple of things fell short. Our intensity really needs to get brought up and we need to value the ball more.

"They're a great team. They hustled, they wanted it. They wanted to win and they got it. We just have to learn how to win and want it a little more."

One thing Huska and the Eagles were pleased with leaving the game was their rebounding. Windom finished the night with 26 total rebounds. Hayenga's six led the team, while Holly Larson added five.

Windom's next game is Thursday against Martin County West at home, and the Eagles are hoping to remain strong on the boards and pick up their offensive attack.

But until then, the loss to a conference rival, dropping Windom to 0-3 in the Southwest conference, will stick with them.

"We knew what we were getting in to, and it came down to a couple of shots," Huska said. "Unfortunately we collapsed down at the end and they didn't. But that's what a game like this comes down to."

RV 17 40 -- 57

WA 25 24 -- 49

RV (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) Quast 0-2-0-4, Busiahn 1-1-0-5, Smith 2-4-7-21, Jensen 2-1-2-10, Felt 0-2-7-11, Siegfried 0-2-0-4, Pohlen 0-1-0-2. Total 5-13-16-57.

WA (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) Hayenga 0-5-5-15, Hanefeld 0-2-0-4, Eigenberg 0-3-2-8, Sorensen 0-4-2-10, Larson 0-2-1-5, Peterson 0-0-2-2, Fast 0-1-2-4, Olson 0-0-1-1. Total 0-17-15-49.

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