Taking it to the limit

FULDA -- For the second consecutive year, the girls basketball title in the Red Rock Conference will come down to the final day of the regular season.

FULDA -- For the second consecutive year, the girls basketball title in the Red Rock Conference will come down to the final day of the regular season.

The Fulda Raiders kept the Murray County Central Rebels from clinching the conference title, withstanding a furious rally to take a 50-46 victory, handing MCC its first RRC loss of the season.

Fulda will travel to Edgerton Monday night while MCC plays host to Hills-Beaver Creek.

As for Thursday, though, the game played out as expected: a hard-fought defensive battle where points were hard to come by.

"You didn't expect it to be easy," Fulda head coach Gregg Slaathaug said. "Even when we had a 10-point lead, it was never a comfortable 10-point lead."


Fulda, in fact, had a 43-31 lead with just over six minutes left in regulation before the Rebels stormed back. Utilizing the free-throw line in its effort, MCC scored 15 of the next 18 points to pull even at 46-all on a 3-pointer by Janeane Robinson.

"The girls stuck with it," MCC head coach Cory Strasser said. "They knew it was going to be a battle, because Fulda always comes ready to play."

Also helping in the rally was the MCC defense, which made a slight shift in strategy in the second half, double-teaming the ballhandler when she crossed half-court and spun back toward the center of the floor. What this did was help accelerate the pace of the game, creating more turnovers.

However, the rally would be cut short as Laura Kramer answered right away, hitting a jumper on Fulda's next possession to break the tie and give the Raiders the lead for good.

"We had opportunities, they had opportunities," Strasser said. "They made one more play than us, and that's how the game goes."

Fulda's defense also did a solid job throughout the contest, holding the Rebels to 34 percent shooting while forcing 20 turnovers.

The Raiders also struggled some from the field, hitting 43 percent.

"We had a hard time getting into a flow on offense. We knew that was going to happen," Slaathaug said. "I thought we needed to keep them out of a flow on offense, and we did a good job of that, too."


Both teams had a hard time in the first half finding their offensive touch, leading to a sluggish opening few minutes. Fulda, though, found its rhythm late in the first half, slowly building a lead.

Laura Kramer did her most damage in the first half, scoring eight of her 12 points. She was able to get inside against the MCC defense and use her height and strength to get through for easy baskets.

Fulda and MCC had varying degrees of success in the game at the foul line. While the Rebels were strong, hitting 13-of-18 attempts (including 9-for-10 in the second half), the Raiders struggled, going 7-for-13.

But, when they needed the shots to go down most, Fulda (14-1, 18-4) delivered.

"When we had to have the free throws, we got them," Slaathaug said. "It would've been nice to get them all game, but when we had to have them, we got them."

Robinson led the way for MCC (14-1, 18-4) with 14 points, followed by 11 from Laura Beers.

MCC 17 29 -- 46

Fulda 22 28 -- 50


MCC (3FG-2FG-FT-TP): Beers 0-1-9-11, Starken 0-1-1-3, Counter 0-1-0-2, Robinson 2-4-0-14, Christiansen 0-4-0-8, Gengler 0-2-2-6, Bose 0-1-0-2. Totals: 2-14-13-46.

Fulda (3FG-2FG-FT-TP): Sam Raddle 2-1-0-8, M.Gunderman 0-1-4-6, K.Kramer 1-5-1-14, N.Gunderman 0-2-0-4, Speckmeier 0-3-0-6, L.Kramer 0-5-2-12. Totals: 3-17-7-50.

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