GIRLS BASKETBALL: Wildcats defeat RebelsSLAYTON — Courtney Place’s 31 points along with a solid team defensive effort by Southwestern United helped the Wildcats get in the win column with a 55-47 victory over the Murray County Central Rebels in Red Rock Conference girls basketball action Thursday night.
By: Lance Knutson, Worthington Daily Globe
SLAYTON — Courtney Place’s 31 points along with a solid team defensive effort by Southwestern United helped the Wildcats get in the win column with a 55-47 victory over the Murray County Central Rebels in Red Rock Conference girls basketball action Thursday night.
“We wanted to beat (Murray County Central) because we’ve been huge rivals in volleyball and basketball,” Place said. “We just wanted to come out and get a ‘W’ and that’s all we wanted to do. We practiced so hard this week and it just feels so good to win.”
Place, who is a 6-foot-2 sophomore guard, made the only 3-point shots of the contest with a trio of treys and grabbed 12 rebounds to finish with a double-double. She added four assists, five steals and three blocks.
Senior post Sarah Baumgard added 11 points for a Southwestern United attack that had seven players score. Kailey Wendland and Sonja Peters each had five rebounds, while Baumgard and Alyssa Hendrickson each had four boards.
“Our offense is working extremely well,” Wildcats head coach Keith Place said. “We spread everybody out and Courtney either went to the basket or hit the open player. We got some more people involved in the offense and Sarah Baumgard hit some nice shots from the middle.”
Courtney Place kept the Wildcats in the game early as she scored the team’s first eight points to give the visitors an 8-6 lead five minutes into the game.
Following a Jenna Ness layup and a Taylor Schreier free throw, the Rebels regained the lead at 10-8 with 10 minutes, 21 seconds left in the opening half.
Baumgard tied the game at 10 after receiving a nice feed in the middle of the lane from Andrea Hinkeldey (four assists, two blocks) a bit later, but the Rebels seemingly seized control with a 7-0 run over the next three minutes.
Jade Giese scored five points, while Morgan Behrends added a field goal in the Rebels’ run, which was their largest of the night (17-10) with 7:17 left in the opening half.
However, Southwestern United finished the half on a 14-5 run to take a 24-22 halftime lead. Place scored eight of those points, while Baumgard made a pair of shots from the high post and Hendrickson added two free throws.
Following the break, the two teams went back-and-forth with neither side taking more than a two-point lead through the first 10 minutes of the second half.
Southwestern United did a good job of getting other girls involved in the scoring along with Place as Peters scored on a putback and Hinkeldey banked in a shot from the left block.
Murray County Central’s early second-half scoring came from Ness with six points, Schreier scoring five and Giese hitting an eight-foot jumper to give the Rebels a 35-33 lead with 10:32 remaining.
The Wildcats responded with a five-point run to regain the lead (38-35) with 7:54 showing, which was capped off by a Baumgard layup off a Peters’ assist.
MCC answered with a 6-2 run over the next three minutes to take a 41-40 lead with 4:57 left as McKenzie Schmitz scored over Baumgard along the baseline and Ness added four points.
That lead was the final one of the night for the Rebels and it didn’t last long as a give-and-go from Hinkeldey to Place at the 4:44 mark put the Wildcats in front for good.
Southwestern United finished the game on a 13-6 run. A pair of free throws in the final minute from both Autumn Hinkeldey and Baumgard helped thwart any possible MCC comeback.
Coach Place was pleased with how well his team played defensively from start to finish.
“Our defensive intensity was just tremendous,” the SWU coach said. “We put Sonja Peters on the Ness girl and Sonja did an incredible job the whole game. She only came out a couple of times and I think that was really a key to the game.”
Ness finished with a team-high 16 points, while Giese added 13 and Schreier scored 10.
The Rebels outrebounded the Wildcats in the contest by a 45-32 margin. Morgan Behrends hauled in 11 boards, while Haley Bose had 10 and Schreier had six caroms
Murray County Central had plenty of chances for putback shots with 22 offensive rebounds but couldn’t get many to fall, shooting 31 percent from the field against the 41-percent mark by Southwestern United.
“I thought our effort was really good (Thursday night),” Rebels head coach Laura Jenson said. “When the ball is not falling, it’s easy to shut it down offensively and shut it down defensively.
“The girls did a nice job of sticking with it and attacking the basket. We were getting good looks but they just weren’t going down for us.”
Murray County Central (1-4, 1-2) travels to Jeffers to play Red Rock Central Tuesday.
Southwestern United (1-5, 1-2) plays Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity Monday in Comfrey in a tournament hosted by Cedar Mountain/Comfrey.
Southwestern United 55,
Murray County Central 47
Southwestern United (1-5, 1-2 RRC): An. Hinkeldey 1 1-6 3, Au. Hinkeldey 0 2-2 2, Hendrickson 0 2-3 2, Peters 2 0-0 4, Wendland 2 0-1 4, Place 12 4-8 31, Baumgard 4 3-4 11. Totals: 20 12-24 55.
Murray County Central (1-4, 1-2 RRC): Schmitz 2 0-2 4, Giese 4 5-9 13, Hartle 0 0-1 0, Schreier 4 2-8 10, Bose 1 0-1 2, Ness 6 4-4 16, Behrends 1 0-3 2. Totals: 18 11-28 47.
Halftime: Southwestern United 24, Murray County Central 22. 3-Point Goals: Southwestern United (Place 3); Murray County Central (None). Rebounds: Southwestern United 32 (Place 12); Murray County Central 45 (Behrends 11, Bose 10).