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Section 3A girls basketball: Fulda uses balance

LES KNUTSON Daily Globe WORTHINGTON -- Utilizing a combination of solid basketball fundamentals and exceptional teamwork, the fifth-seeded Fulda Raiders defeated fourth-seeded Red Rock Central, 66-49, Saturday afternoon in the quarterfinals of th...

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JESSE TRELSTAD/DAILY GLOBE Fulda’s Courtney Tiesler (22) shoots for two during the first half against Red Rock Central.

LES KNUTSON
Daily Globe

WORTHINGTON - Utilizing a combination of solid basketball fundamentals and exceptional teamwork, the fifth-seeded Fulda Raiders defeated fourth-seeded Red Rock Central, 66-49, Saturday afternoon in the quarterfinals of the Section 3A South high school girls’ basketball tournament, earning advancement to Tuesday’s semifinals.
In a highly-anticipated rubber match between two programs with tremendous traditions, the Raiders and Falcons treated fans at the tournament-rich Worthington Senior High Gymnasium to a well-played game in the second contest of four during what has been dubbed as “Super Saturday.”
Although Fulda led the entire game - by as much as 20 points on three occasions - RRC rallied several times in the second half and made things exciting until the Raiders, despite having two starters foul out, closed out the contest on a 12-5 run over the final five minutes.
“We really played well as a team, both offensively and defensively,” summed up FHS head coach Gregg Slaathaug. “All of the girls stepped up and did the things we needed to do.”
Fulda split with RRC during the regular season, winning at home (52-43) in its fourth game (Dec. 12), but being defeated by the Falcons at Lamberton (56-45) on Feb. 2.
This time around, the Raiders - who block out so well - won the battle off the boards by a 39-22 margin and shot 47.3 percent (26-of-55) from the field, getting timely contributions from all 10 players which Slaathaug used.
Senior guard Courtney Tiesler had the ball in her hands often and finished a stellar all-around game with 25 points (10-of-19 from the field), seven rebounds, four assists and three steals. She scored 13 of her points in the second half, driving to the basket with authority several times during Fulda’s clinching burst.
Earlier, sophomore guard Randi Tiesler (14 points, five rebounds) sparked the Raiders with a trio of first-half three-pointers.
RRC sophomore Ramsey Piotter - who is recognized as one of the premier defensive players in the Red Rock Conference - guarded Fulda’s high-scoring senior point guard Sariah Cheadle all game long, doing a fine job against the Raiders’ ace.
“Ramsey did great,” praised RRC head coach Kylie Dauer. “She’s our defensive stopper and always guards the other team’s best all-around player, inside or outside.”
Piotter (17 points, seven rebounds, three steals) also provided plenty of offense for the Falcons, who took the ball inside better in the second half as post players Olivia Bittner (11 points, four rebounds) and Kaitlyn Rindfleisch (eight second-half points, five rebounds) combined for 15 of RRC’s points after intermission.
Fulda vaulted out to early leads of 3-0, 11-4 and 20-8 in the game’s first nine minutes as six different Raiders scored.
Later, back-to-back three-pointers by Cheadle and Courtney Tiesler gave Fulda a 32-12 advantage with 3:37 left in the first half.
RRC senior guard Erika Rogotzke (game-high seven assists, four steals) and Piotter countered with back-to-back triples for the Falcons, slicing the gap to 34-20. But a two-pointer by Courtney Tiesler with four seconds left sent the Raiders into intermission with a 37-21 lead.

Two quick buckets by Randi Tiesler stretched Fulda’s cushion to 20 (41-21) early in the second half and after a steal by Courtney Zins (team-high eight rebounds), Courtney Tiesler’s drive made it 43-23.

RRC, helped by steals from Piotter and Taylor Price (three assists), scored the next eight points and with 12:16 to play were within 12 (43-31).

The spread stayed around a dozen for the next several minutes before a inside hoop by Rindfleisch (assist Price) followed by a free throw (after a steal) by Rogotzke trimmed the lead to 50-41 at the 7:50 mark.

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Fulda responded with baskets by Katelyn Renneke (assist Nicole Madison) and Zins (assist Courtney Tiesler) before another bucket by Rindfleisch (assist Rogotzke) made the score 54-44 with 6:13 left.

But the Falcons, who finish a great season with a 16-7 record, never got closer as the Raiders continued to block out well off the defensive boards and finished the game strong.

RRC shot just 31.4 percent from the field (17-of-54) and were 12-of-27 (44.4 percent) at the free throw line.

“Fulda’s defense had a lot to do with our field goal shooting and they blocked out so well that we didn’t get many second shots,” Dauer said. “But, we usually shoot free throws much better than that.”

Fulda plays top-seeded Southwest Christian at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Worthington in the first of two semi-final games.
Fulda 37 66 RRC 21 49

FULDA (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) --- R. Cheadle 0-1-0-2, S. Cheadle 1-2-2-9. R. Tiesler 3-2-1-14, C. Tiesler 1-9-4-25, Madison 0-3-0-6, Zins 0-2-2-6, Renneke 0-2-0-4. Totals 5-21-9-66

RED ROCK CENTRAL (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) --- Rogotzke 1-0-3-6, Price 0-1-0-2, Piotter 2-3-5-17, Rindfleisch 0-3-2-8, Bittner 0-5-1-11, V. Kedl 0-2-1-5. Totals 3-14-12-4

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JESSE TRELSTAD/DAILY GLOBE Red Rock Central’s Erika Rogotzke (10) attempts to get around Fulda’s Sariah Cheadle (12) during the first half of Saturday afternoon’s girls basketball game in Worthington.

Related Topics: GIRLS BASKETBALL
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