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Late run lifts LHS to victory

LUVERNE -- Keyed by a deep 3-pointer from Mindy Nieuwboer with 4:26 left in the second half Friday night, the Luverne Cardinals girls' basketball team outscored Southwest Star Concept 12-2 down the stretch to claim the Luverne Cardinal Holiday Classic with a 58-51 victory over the Quasars.

In a game in which no team led by more than six points until the final minute, it was the Cardinals who came up with more clutch plays to earn the victory.

With SSC leading 49-46 after a nifty pass from Sydney Place (five assists, three steals) to Brooke DeWall (20 points, 12 rebounds) for a layup with 4:43 left, Nieuwboer (22 points, seven rebounds) sank a bomb from way behind the 3-point line to tie the game with 4:26 remaining.

Luverne's Christy Van Dyke and Lexi Heitkamp (four steals, four rebounds) then scored consecutive inside baskets to move the Cardinals up 53-49 with 3:12 showing on the clock.

A couple of possessions later, Heitkamp came up with a steal and converted it into a layup with 51 seconds left to give the Cardinals a 55-49 lead.

DeWall came back with a basket 13 seconds later, but the Cardinals answered by making three-of-four free throws to secure the victory.

With the game tied at 15-all with 4:26 left in the first half, Luverne -- sparked by a 3-pointer from Allison Henke (four assists) -- went on a 9-4 run to go up 24-19 at the break.

SSC opened the second half with a 12-2 burst to go up 31-26 with 13:05 remaining, as Shannon Hussong (five rebounds, three assists) scored on a coast-to-coast 3-point play and a 3-pointer from the top of the key to trigger the Quasars.

The Quasars increased their lead to six (37-31) with 10:10 left before Luverne came back to take a 46-45 lead with 6:34 remaining.

SSC scored the next four points to take its final lead (49-46), but Nieuwboer's 3-point bomb led Luverne's rally in the final minutes.

Samantha Gacke scored 15 points and blocked two shots for the Cardinals.

Luverne (8-2) hosts Redwood Valley next Friday, while SSC (9-3) visits Round Lake-Brewster Thursday.

SSC 19 32 -- 51

Luverne 24 34 -- 58

SSC (3FG-2FG-FT-TP): Knutson 0-0-1-1, Hussong 1-1-3-8, Rients 0-2-2-6, DeWall 0-9-2-20, Place 0-1-3-5, Rasche 0-2-0-4, Olsem 0-2-3-7. Totals: 1-17-14-51.

Luverne (3FG-2FG-FT-TP): Klein 0-1-1-3, Henke 1-0-0-3, Nieuwboer 4-2-6-22, Van Dyke 0-1-1-3, Herman 0-1-0-2, Heitkamp 0-3-0-6, Hoiland 1-0-1-4, Gacke 1-4-4-15. Totals: 7-12-13-58.

Third-place game

Lincoln County 63, H-BC 51

LUVERNE -- Building a 37-15 lead at halftime, Lincoln County defeated the Hills-Beaver Creek Patriots in the third-place game.

Jami Hauschild and Megan Evert led LC with 18 and 13 respective points.

Chelsi Fink led H-BC (0-10) with 19 points, while Kerri Fransman was next with 10 points.

H-BC visits Edgerton Thursday.

H-BC 15 36 -- 51

LC 37 26 -- 63