Top seeds Southwest Star Concept, Fulda head to Marshall
WINDOM -- Southwest Star Concept and Fulda finished first and second in the Red Rock Conference girls' basketball standings this season, with the Quasars finishing a game ahead by beating the Raiders 57-52 at Okabena on January 12.
Both teams won their Section 3A South semifinal games Tuesday night, setting up a rematch in the Section 3A South title game Friday night in Marshall at 6 p.m.
Top-seeded SSC (23-3) again held off a late rally to win and move on, this time over No. 5 Murray County Central, 61-55.
Second-seeded Fulda (25-3) broke away late to defeat No. 3 Edgerton, 60-40.
MCC and Edgerton finish their seasons with 13-14 and 18-7 records, respectively.
SSC 61, MCC 55
Putting together a 22-3 surge -- started by an outstanding fade-away jumper in the lane from Linnea Henkels -- midway through the first half, the Quasars were dominating the Rebels, and led 27-9 with 3:05 left before halftime.
MCC, though, closed the half with an 8-4 run, as Emily Bose (21 points) scored on a putback, and Laura Beers (17 points) scored three consecutive buckets -- including a pull-up, baseline jumper right before the buzzer to help the Rebels cut the lead to 31-17 at the break.
"We played terrific in the game's first 15 minutes," SSC head coach Les Knutson said, "but then we had trouble containing Beers and Bose, and had to really work hard in the second half. We're very happy to win the game and advance to the championship game."
SSC looked to gain the momentum back to begin the second half as Breanna Rients stroked a 3-pointer, and Brooke DeWall (13 points, eight rebounds, six assists, five steals) scored on a baseline drive to help the Quasars to a 36-19 lead with 16:46 to play.
MCC closed to within 10 points (40-30) with 14:14 to go as Bose scored two inside buckets to key the Rebels.
The Quasars answered with a slashing hoop from Chelsey Knutson, and later led 47-38 after a drive-and-dish bucket by DeWall from Henkels (13 points, seven assists, three steals) at the eight-minute mark.
However, MCC trimmed the deficit to four (49-45) with 5:27 left as Bose scored three straight hoops, and added a a free throw.
SSC's Shannon Hussong scored on a inbounds play following a timeout, before two free throws each from Sydney Place (eight rebounds, six points) and Rients helped the Quasars extend their lead to 55-47 with 2:35 left.
MCC came roaring back again as Kasey Schreiber's putback basket made it 57-53 with 48.8 seconds remaining.
However, Rients and Adri Rasche (10 points, seven rebounds) each knocked down two free throws to help the Quasars close out the victory.
MCC 17 38 -- 55
SSC 31 30 -- 61
MCC (3FG-2FG-FT-TP): Petersen 0-1-4-6, Beers 0-8-1-17, Manderscheid 0-2-3-7, Schreiber 0-1-2-4, Bose 0-10-1-21. Totals: 0-22-11-55.
SSC (3FG-2FG-FT-TP): Knutson 0-1-1-3, Hussong 1-1-2-7, Rients 1-1-4-9, Henkels 1-4-2-13, DeWall 0-6-1-13, Place 0-2-2-6, Rasche 0-4-2-10. Totals: 3-19-14-61.
Fulda 60, Edgerton 40
Sparked by 26 points from Kaitlyn Kramer, the Raiders held about a 10-point lead for most of the game, before going on a 14-3 run late in the second half to seal the victory over the Flying Dutchmen.
"Our girls did a good job of getting the ball to Kaitlyn," Fulda head coach Gregg Slaathaug said. "She was very aggressive, but I thought she played even better defense. All of the girls played outstanding defense tonight."
Leading 41-31 following a basket off a spin move from Edgerton's Alyson Drooger with 8:55 left in the second half, Fulda received a key transition basket from Kramer, fueling the Raiders on a 14-3 run to take a 55-34 bulge with 3:15 remaining.
Kramer scored seven more points in that stretch, while Laura Kramer -- who sat with foul trouble for much of the game -- converted a three-point play to help the Raiders put the game away.
Fulda began taking control of the game midway through the first half, as an 18-footer from the top of the key by Kaitlyn Kramer gave the Raiders a 17-7 advantage with 7:43 to play.
Another 18-footer -- this time from Brooke Kuehne -- gave the Raiders a 23-12 lead with 5:32 left.
Edgerton's Amy Kallemeyn scored on a nifty inside move, and Alexa Vanden Bosch hit a free throw to pull the Flying Dutchmen within eight (23-15) with 2:54 left.
But two turnaround jumpers from the free-throw line by Kaitlyn Kramer helped the Raiders head into the locker room with a 31-17 lead.
The lead stayed right around 10 points for the second half's first nine minutes, as Drooger's bucket made it 41-31 with 8:55 left.
That's when Fulda broke the game open with its 14-3 surge, securing the victory and a trip to the Section 3A South title game for the sixth straight season.
Kallemeyn (11 rebounds, four steals) scored 18 points to finish her career with 1,896 -- setting the all-time scoring record at Edgerton (both boys and girls). Dean Veenhof (Class of 1961) held the previous record with 1,887 points.
Edgerton 17 23 -- 40
Fulda 31 29 -- 60
Edgerton (3FG-2FG-FT-TP): A. Vanden Bosch 0-2-4-8, Hadler 0-1-1-3, Drooger 0-2-2-6, Ha. Van Kley 0-1-1-3, He. Van Kley 0-1-0-2, Kallemeyn 0-7-14-18. Totals: 0-14-12-40.
Fulda (3FG-2FG-FT-TP): Sam Raddle 0-1-2-4, Kuehne 0-1-0-2, K. Kramer 0-9-8-26, Sarah Raddle 1-5-0-13, Speckmeier 0-2-2-6, M. Gunderman 0-1-0-2, L. Kramer 0-1-2-4, Paulzine 0-1-1-3. Totals: 1-21-15-60.