PREP GIRLS' BASKETBALL: Adrian pulls out defensive battle versus MCCWORTHINGTON — Giving up just eight points in the second half Saturday afternoon, the third-seeded Adrian Dragons stretched a 24-19 halftime lead into a 39-27 victory over the sixth-seeded Murray County Central Rebels in the final game of “Super Saturday” featuring the Section 3A South high school girls’ basketball tournament quarterfinals at Worthington High School.
By: Lucas Knutson, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — Giving up just eight points in the second half Saturday afternoon, the third-seeded Adrian Dragons stretched a 24-19 halftime lead into a 39-27 victory over the sixth-seeded Murray County Central Rebels in the final game of “Super Saturday” featuring the Section 3A South high school girls’ basketball tournament quarterfinals at Worthington High School.
Adrian is now 19-6 overall and advances to play second-seeded Southwest Christian in the sub-section semifinals Tuesday night at about 7:30 p.m. in Worthington. SWC (18-5) moved on with a 60-52 victory over seventh-seeded Ellsworth.
“We certainly didn’t set any scoring records in this one, but we played pretty good defense and rebounded well enough,” summed up Adrian head coach Randy Strand after the game. “We played some zone defense in the second half and that seemed to slow MCC down a little bit. The main thing is that we lived to play again, and we’ll have to come out with more intensity in the next round.”
Sydne Springman led Adrian with a game-high 17 points, while Nichole Loosbrock (eight), Elissa Thier (seven) and Rachel Kontz (six) combined for 21 of the other 22 points for the Dragons. Austyn Thier sank one of two free throws for Adrian, which scored seven straight points to begin the second half and took a 31-19 lead.
Jenna Ness paced MCC with nine points, while seven other players cracked the scoring column. Makenzie Giese, Jade Giese and Haley Bose each netted four points for the Rebels, who had early leads of 3-2 and 5-4 in the initial five minutes.
But a 3-pointer by Elissa Thier gave Adrian the lead for good at 7-5, while Loosbrock meshed a trey of her own and also banked in a 10-footer from the left side to extend the Dragons’ advantage to 15-8 with 7:56 remaining in the first half.
Makenzie Giese, who had scored MCC’s first two baskets, then passed to both Jade Giese and Ness for baskets underneath on out-of-bounds plays. Ness — who later scored on a pair of runners in the lane — turned her hoop into a 3-point play with a free throw, as the Rebels were within two (15-13) at the 5:47 mark.
Adrian, though, went up 19-13 after Springman fed Elissa Thier for a bucket down low and also hit two free throws. Springman added a pair of baskets in the last minute, including one off an offensive-rebound chance just before the buzzer sounded to send the Dragons into the locker room with a five-point cushion (24-19).
Springman continued to spark Adrian to start the second half, knocking down two more free throws and firing in a 3-pointer from the left corner. Kontz, who had scored Adrian’s first two baskets of the game — including a layup off the opening tip just four seconds in — then drilled a 17-foot shot along the right baseline to make it 31-19 with 14:48 showing.
Each team scored just eight points the rest of the way, creating a final margin of 39-27. MCC’s Molly Bass and Morgan Behrends each scored in the paint to account for half of the Rebels’ point production in the last 18 minutes.
Crystal Van Iperen and Macy Halbur each dropped in a free throw during the first half for MCC, which finishes its season with a record of 12-10.
MCC 19 8 — 27
Adrian 24 15 — 39
MCC (3FG-2FG-FT-TP): M. Giese 0-2-0-4, Halbur 0-0-1-1, Van Iperen 0-0-1-1, Bass 0-1-0-2, J. Giese 0-1-2-4, H. Bose 0-2-0-4, Ness 0-4-1-9, Behrends 0-1-0-2. Totals: 0-11-5-27.
Adrian (3FG-2FG-FT-TP): E. Thier 1-2-0-7, Loosbrock 1-1-3-8, Kontz 0-3-0-6, Springman 1-4-6-17, A. Thier 0-0-1-1. Totals: 3-10-10-39.