GIRLS BASKETBALL: Eagles pull away from SSCEDGERTON — Finishing the first half with six straight points and then scoring nine consecutive points to begin the second half Saturday night, the Southwest Christian Eagles opened up a 17-point lead and went on to claim a 64-30 victory over the Southwest Star Concept Quasars in a Red Rock Conference girls’ basketball game.
By: Lucas Knutson, Worthington Daily Globe
EDGERTON — Finishing the first half with six straight points and then scoring nine consecutive points to begin the second half Saturday night, the Southwest Christian Eagles opened up a 17-point lead and went on to claim a 64-30 victory over the Southwest Star Concept Quasars in a Red Rock Conference girls’ basketball game.
Nine players scored for the Eagles, who are now 9-4 overall and 7-2 in conference play. SSC, which lost its fifth straight game, is currently 7-9 overall and 5-4 in league action.
Senior Brianna Spronk (five rebounds, three assists) and junior Kara Van Dyke (five steals) scored 16 and 11 points, respectively, for SWC — which outscored SSC 34-8 in the second half.
“We played a really nice second half and made some adjustments that helped us,” SWC head coach Denise Nerem said. “We took better care of the ball, picked up our defensive intensity and shot the ball a little better in the second half, all of which helped us get a conference win.”
SSC, which received an 11-point, nine-rebound, four-block game from sophomore Katey Granstra, stayed within seven points throughout the first half and trailed by two (24-22) with 56 seconds remaining.
SWC, though, scored six straight points in the last 46 seconds — with junior Kayla Broekhuis (nine points, three assists) sinking a pair of free throws to start that run.
After Van Dyke hit a free throw with 31 seconds to go, senior Abby Hanenburg (eight points, six rebounds) knocked down a 3-pointer from the left wing with seven seconds left — giving the Eagles a 30-22 halftime lead.
Broekhuis made it 32-22 five seconds into the second half, as she came up with a steal and went in for a layup to make it a double-digit spread for the first time.
The Eagles scored the next seven points to go up 39-22 and held SSC scoreless until the 12:39 mark, when Granstra’s driving basket made it 39-24. Junior Jada Vander Veen (six points, three assists) delivered a 3-pointer in the right corner to highlight SWC’s run to open the half.
Another 3-pointer by Vander Veen — following a trey from Broekhuis and an inside basket from Spronk — boosted the Eagles’ lead to 47-24 with 10:58 remaining.
Quasar junior Erika Post (five points) scored the next two baskets to make it 47-28 at the 8:28 mark, as she scored on a drive and later took a nice feed from senior Michaela Rasche to score again.
SWC then scored 17 consecutive over the next seven minutes and had a huge 64-28 lead with 1:22 to play. Van Dyke made a free throw for the first point in that surge, while Spronk scored five more points to help the Eagles break the game open.
Junior Jenni Vander Veen added a 3-pointer during that stretch, and senior Angie Vermeer (five points, five steals) popped in an 18-footer along the left baseline and had a putback basket. Juniors Vayla Van Dyke (five rebounds, four points) and Amy Lubben also scored in the paint for the Eagles.
SSC’s Paula Gruener, a senior foreign-exchange student from Germany, scored the game’s final basket off an assist from senior Kelsey Beyer with 58 seconds left.
“We couldn’t do much of anything in the second half against SWC’s increased defensive pressure,” SSC head coach Les Knutson said. “However, we played a great first half and really hustled well and played good team defense.”
SSC had an early 3-2 lead, as a bucket by Granstra and a free throw from Post gave the Quasars a one-point lead with 15:42 to play.
SWC answered with a 7-0 run, capped by a three-point play from Kara Van Dyke to make it 9-3 with 13:56 left. An offensive-rebound basket by Spronk later gave the Eagles a 13-8 lead at the 11:50 mark.
The Eagles had a 19-12 advantage with 4:49 remaining, but SSC scored 10 of the next 15 points to close the gap to two (24-22).
Sophomore Cassie Cselovszki (four points) hit two free throws to help get the Quasars going in that sequence. Senior Betsy Voehl (six points, four assists) also provided a spark by sinking a free throw and swishing a 3-pointer from the top of the key before stealing the ball and dishing to junior Luanna Henkels (three steals) for a left-handed, fast-break layup.
Granstra then had an offensive-rebound basket to make it 24-22 with 56 seconds remaining, but the Eagles scored the game’s next 15 points to take command.
Maddie Collin, a junior for the Quasars, hustled for five rebounds.
Both teams play again on Tuesday, as SWC visits Round Lake-Brewster, and SSC hosts Murray County Central.
SSC 22 8 — 30
SWC 30 34 — 64
SSC (3PT-2PT-FT-TP): Voehl 1-1-1-6, Cselovszki 0-0-4-4, Henkels 0-1-0-2, Post 0-2-1-5, Gruener 0-1-0-2, Granstra 0-5-1-11. Totals: 1-10-7-30.
SWC (3PT-2PT-FT-TP): Broekhuis 1-2-2-9, Lubben 0-1-0-2, Vermeer 0-2-1-5, Hanenburg 2-1-0-8, K. Van Dyke 0-3-5-11, Ja. Vander Veen 2-0-0-6, Je. Vander Veen 1-0-0-3, V. Van Dyke 0-2-0-4, Spronk 0-7-2-16. Totals: 6-18-10-64.