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PREP GIRLS BASKETBALL: Eagles soar past Chargers

Brian Korthals/Daily Globe The Eagles' Amber Pater (31) drives to the hoop between the Chargers' Paige Erickson (24) and Elizabeth Woelber (20) during Saturday's sectional game in Worthington.

WORTHINGTON -- Amber Pater paced the Southwest Christian Eagles with a game-high 16 points in a 69-33 victory over the Westbrook-Walnut Grove Chargers during the quarterfinal round of the Class A Section 3 South Division Girls' Basketball Tournament Saturday.

"It wasn't the best shooting night for us, but I thought we played really solid defense and that helped us a lot," SWC coach Denise Nerem said. "We had a lot of jitters tonight, just like everybody does coming in."

The Eagles got on the board first with a layup by Jennifer Schmidt, but the Chargers were able to match SWC's intensity for the first 10 minutes of the game.

"We were afraid of having the game end up like this, so I said 'You have to leave everything on the floor. We have 36 minutes and we have to make the most of it," W-WG coach Sheryl Woelber said. "The girls did an excellent job of that in the first 10 to 12 minutes of the first half."

However, the Eagles held the Chargers to just nine points in the final 10 minutes of the half while scoring 19 points of their own.

"As the game goes, we just kept running the court and W-WG got a little tired," Pater said. "Our points come from us running the court and tiring out our opponent. And that is when we start pulling away."

Southwest Christian led 31-17 heading into intermission.

"Southwest Christian can throw 10 people at you and they are all high-caliber players," W-WG coach Sheryl Woelber said. "They are a good group of girls and I'm glad we had the opportunity to play them."

Despite trailing by 14, Westbrook-Walnut Grove opened up the second half with a huge 3-point basket from Elizabeth Woelber to pull the Chargers within 11.

But nine of the next 10 baskets belonged to the Eagles, which allowed SWC to pull away for good.

"Our defense helped us a lot in the second half," Pater said. "We didn't let them score a lot and doing more on defense really helps out our offense. Going to the zone on defense helped a little bit, too."

Schmidt answered Woelber's 3-pointer with one of her own, while Pater picked up a fast break layup off of a steal to go along with two free throws for four points during the Eagles 24-4 run.

"Our offense was a lot more spread out in the second half, so that allowed it to work a lot better and we were able to move the ball a lot better, too," Schmidt said.

The Eagles were able to steal the ball from the Chargers an astounding 38 times during the game, with Hannah Van Dyke leading the way with 10 steals.

"In the second half we went into a zone and we took the ball away from W-WG quite a bit," Nerem said. "Again, I think it was our defense powering our offense in the second half. Which, when you have an off shooting night, that is what you want to do."

Schmidt was second in scoring for the Eagles with 14 points, while Tianna Top led the team in rebounds with 11.

The Chargers were led in scoring by Paige Erickson who had 14 points to go along with six rebounds, two steals and a block. Woelber had 12 points, including three 3s in the game.

The Eagles (21-4) face No. 3 Adrian in the semifinals Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in Worthington. The Chargers end the season with an 11-13 record.

Daily Globe Reporter Jordan Willi

may be reached at 376-7335.



W-WG (11-13): Comnick 2 0-0 5; El. Woelber 4 1-4 12; Erickson 6 1-2 13; Wahl 1 0-0 2. Totals: 13 2-6 33.

SWC (21-4): Van Dyke 2 0-0 4; Pater 7 2-2 16; Van Hulzen 2 0-0 4; Schmidt 6 0-0 14; K. Tinklenberg 4 1-2 9; Homandberg 2 1-2 5; Top 3 2-4 8; S. Tinklenberg 3 1-2 7; Zeinstra 0 2-2 2. Totals: 30 9-14 69.

W-WG 17 16 -- 33

SWC 31 38 -- 69

3-Point Goals: W-WG 4 (Comnick, Woelber 3); SWC 2 (Schmidt). Rebounds: W-WG 21 (Erickson 6, Comnick 7, Wahl 6); SWC 45 (Pater 6, Top 11, S. Tinklenberg 6, Van Hulzen 6). Total Fouls (Fouled Out): W-WG 14 (Wahl); SWC 11 (none). Assists: SWC 17 (Pater 6, Van Dyke 6). Steals: W-WG 7 (Herding 3, Erickson 2, Woelber 2); SWC 38 (Pater 6, S. Tinklenberg 5, Van Dyke 10, Homandberg 7). Blocked Shots: W-WG 3 (Erickson, Comnick 2).