MCC, Fulda reach South final
The top-seeded Murray County Central girls had their hands full Tuesday night, but managed to hang on against fifth-seeded Adrian to earn a 60-58 victory and trip to the Section 3A South basketball championship against the Fulda Raiders Friday in...
The top-seeded Murray County Central girls had their hands full Tuesday night, but managed to hang on against fifth-seeded Adrian to earn a 60-58 victory and trip to the Section 3A South basketball championship against the Fulda Raiders Friday in Marshall.
Murray County Central was led by Laura Beers with 16 points, followed by Emily Bose with 13 and Rachel Christiansen with 11.
Sam Lynn, the hero in Adrian's dramatic overtime victory over Southwest Star Concept Saturday, turned in another fine performance with a game-high 25 points.
Trailing by two points with 30 seconds remaining in the contest, Lynn was called for traveling as she received the ball from Brittany Bullerman. Fortunately for the Dragons, Lynn would get one more chance. But with five seconds left, Lynn was unable to score on the dribble drive and the Rebels had secured a berth in the finals.
"We knew Adrian was going to be tough, they've played well and are a confident crew," MCC head coach Cory Strasser said following the game. "We knew if we didn't do certain things right, they'd be right there and they'd beat us."
The Dragons were never out of the contest, trailing by no more than eight points -- 18-10 midway through the first half. Whenever Adrian needed a lift, Lynn was there to cut to the basket.
Lynn teamed up with Erica Thier toward the end of the first half to pull Adrian within three, 27-24. Katlin Wiertsema's jumper at the buzzer made it a 27-26 game at intermission.
MCC's Janeane Robinson set the tone for the second half, with a quick 10-foot jumper. Jenny Starken followed with two medium-range jumpers of her own and the Rebels were rolling, 33-26.
But Thier answered with a bomb from behind the 3-point line, and everyone in attendance knew they were in for a tight game.
Neither team could make a big move to pull away, as the sides traded buckets for nine minutes. But with four minutes remaining, Christiansen hit 3-of-4 from the foul line to put the Rebels up 52-47.
Wiertsema answered for the Dragons and Lynn followed with another patented dribble drive to again make it a one-point contest, 52-51.
Bose put the Rebels up by four on the ensuing possession, as she was fouled while sinking a layup. The eighth-grader converted the 3-point play and MCC looked to be in charge heading into the final minutes.
No problem for Lynn, however, as the freshman returned the favor with a 3-point field goal to again make it a one-point game.
With 1:40 left, Beers and Christiansen would hit back to back-to-back field goals to give the Rebels a 59-54 advantage. Lynn was fouled on her next drive, but the shot fell and she had a 3-point opportunity. Lynn missed the shot, but Bullerman was there to tip in the rebound and give the Dragons another chance at a dramatic finish.
"We battled, they battled," Adrian head coach Randy Strand said. "There is no reason to hang our heads, and (they) should be very proud of what they did this year."
Adrian 26 32 -- 58
MCC 27 33 -- 60
Adrian (3FG-2FG-FT-Total points): E. Thier 1-3-1-10, Tjepkes 0-0-1-1, N. Lynn 0-1-0-2, S. Lynn 1-7-8-25, Reisdorfer 0-3-0-6, B. Bullerman 0-3-0-6, Wiertsema 0-3-2-8. Total 2-20-12-58.
MCC (3FG-2FG-FT-Total points): Anderson 0-0-2-2, Beers 0-6-4-16, Starken 0-2-0-4, Counter 1-0-1-4, Robinson 0-2-2-6, Christiansen 0-4-3-11, Gengler 0-2-0-4, Bose 0-5-3-13. Total 1-21-15-60.
Fulda 57, SWC 43
LUVERNE -- As the 3-pointers fell, so did the Eagles, as the Raiders hit for three consecutive long-range shots to end the first half and blow the game wide open -- earning a trip to the Section 3A South final.
Kaitlyn Kramer led the Raiders with 18 points, followed by Sarah Raddle with 12 and Laura Kramer with 10.
Southwest Christian was led offensively by Jenna Snyder with 15 points, while Kelsey Van Dyke pitched in with 10.
The Raiders found the post the best way to go early on, as Laura Kramer posted six of her points in the first seven minutes. Kaitlyn Kramer also found paydirt twice and Nicole Gunderman scored underneath to give Fulda a quick 13-6 advantage.
The Eagles fired back with Rebecca Schelhaas scoring twice inside and Van Dyke slipping free for a backdoor field goal, keeping the game close.
But with five minutes remaining before intermission, the Raiders exploded from the perimeter. Raddle, who would find net three times from beyond the arc, hit her first of the evening to get the 13-4 run started. The junior guard would then team up with Brittany Goedtke and Chelsea Speckmeier for another three treys to end the half, giving Fulda a 32-20 lead.
"Once we get the first 3-pointer we can relax a little," Fulda head coach Gregg Slaathaug said. "We like to get that shot down early and also look to the post."
The Eagles couldn't muster much of a comeback through the first 12 minutes of the second, falling behind by as many as 16 points. But with 5:52 left in the contest, SWC went on a quick 7-0 run to pull within nine at 48-39. Darci Vander Woude started the burst with a 12-foot jumper, followed by Snyder, who hit two runners. The senior guard was fouled on the second shot and converted the 3-point play to give the Eagles some hope.
But it wasn't to be, as the Raiders played solid down the stretch, hitting 7-of-10 free throws to put the game away.
Had SWC been able to convert free throws, this game might have been closer, as the Eagles were just 11-of-28.
SWC 20 23 -- 43
Fulda 32 25 -- 57
SWC (3FG-2FG-FT-Total points): Snyder 2-3-3-15, Vander Woude 0-2-2-6, Vis 0-1-3-5, Van Dyke 0-4-2-10, Schelhaas 0-3-1-7. Total 2-13-11-43.
Fulda (3FG-2FG-FT-Total points): Sam Raddle 0-0-3-3, K. Kramer 0-7-4-18, N. Gunderman 0-1-1-3, Sarah Raddle 3-1-1-12, Speckmeier 1-1-3-8, Goedtke 1-0-0-3, L. Kramer 0-4-2-10. Total 5-14-14-57.