FAIRMONT - Balanced scoring and solid boardwork fueled the Fairmont girls basketball lineup's second-half comeback during its home-opener on Tuesday night at Cardinal Gym.
Kristen Campe snapped the nets on 6 of 7 shots from the field, including 3 of 4 behind the 3-point arc, en route to 17 points to pace a Cardinals' offensive performance that featured four teammates also in double figures in the scoring column.
Courtney Mosloski delivered 14 points and six boards off the bench, Sierra Schultz netted 14 points and distributed a game-best eight assists, Alex Christianson scored 11 and Kayla Lardy added 10 points and a game-high 13 rebounds to engineer the Cardinals' 68-65 triumph over the Windom Area Eagles.
I’M?OPEN — Fairmont guard Emily Kim watches as teammate Alex Christianson rolls to an opening behind Windom Area forward Kelsey Hanefeld (right) during non-league basketball action Tuesday night at Cardinal Gym in Fairmont. The Cardinals’ Sierra Schultz (back right) and the Eagles’ Kelly Riordan (left) look on. (Photo by Leanna Becker)
"Offensively, we had good balance and we shot the ball well tonight," Fairmont mentor Don Waletich said in reference to his team's 49 percent field-goal and 71 percent free throw shooting, "but we definitely need to work on some things defensively."
The Cardinals and Eagles battled back-and-forth to three ties and seven lead changes in the opening half before reserve post player Katie Kelly triggered Windom Area's 9-0 run with seven and a half minutes left before halftime.
Kelly, who delivered eight points off the bench, banked home a baseline leaner to swing an 18-17 lead to the Eagles before guard Jasmine Carlson tossed in two of her game-high 20 points off a dribble-drive into traffic.
Kelsey Hanefeld, who finished with 18 points, hit a solo free throw, Madison Maras banked home a runner in the lane and Rachel Sorensen converted a backdoor cut and assist from Kelsey Hanefeld into two more points and a 25-17 lead with four minutes remaining before intermission.
Campe, who had nailed a late 3-pointer on Friday night to force overtime at Waseca en route to a win, displayed her perimeter prowess again by drilling a trifecta with only 2 seconds left in the first half to narrow the Cardinals' deficit to 34-33.
Christianson's pair of free throws, followed by Schultz's traditional 3-point play, helped swing a 40-37 edge to Fairmont during the second half's early stages before Carlson countered with a traditional 3-point play of her own.
Kelsey Hanefeld then nailed a 14-footer from the right wing to stake Windom Area to its final lead of the game at 42-40 with 11 minutes remaining.
Lardy sank a 15-footer to produce the non-league contest's sixth and final tie at 42-all before Campe's runner in traffic pushed the Cardinals into a lead that they would not relinquish.
Mosloski's free throws, Schultz's steal-turned-layup and Campe's two charity tosses later extended Fairmont's lead to 52-44 with 8 minutes left, but Carlson and Kelsey Hanefeld would counter during the final 6 minutes of regulation.
Carlson converted another traditional 3-point play before Schultz hit a putback for the Cardinals. Schultz then ran a perfect pick-and-roll with Christianson for a 10-footer to create a 58-49 lead.
Hanefeld, however, tossed in three consecutive 12-footers in traffic before pocketing a late midcourt steal and driving the distance for a layup to whittle the Eagles' gap to 66-63 with 42 seconds showing.
Carlson later sank two free throws with 21 seconds left to inch Windom Area within one, but Schultz thwarted the Eagles' comeback bid by swooshing a pair of charity tosses at the 18-second juncture to seal the win.
Fairmont (3-1, 1-0 South Central) travels to Blue Earth Area on Friday for a 6 p.m. tipoff as part of a varsity doubleheader. Windom Area (1-2, 0-1 Southwest) plays host to Pipestone Area on Thursday.
Larissa Becker and Marisa Nelson each scored eight points to guide Fairmont to a 38-17 victory over Windom Area during B-squad action Tuesday night in Fairmont.
Nelson also grabbed five rebounds, while Haley Harder chipped in seven points. Emily Kloeckner contributed six points and six rebounds to the Cardinals' winning ways, while Abby Fitzgerald pocketed three steals.
Martin County West 76, St. James 48 - Reilly Geistfeld produced a double-double performance of 15 points and 10 rebounds to steer the Mavericks to a 76-48 victory over the Saints on Tuesday night in St. James.
MCW, which held a 28-24 halftime lead, doubled the second-half scoring - 48-24 - on St. James en route to the 28-point victory.
Taryn Tumbleson contributed 15 points and five steals to MCW's winning ways, while Kate Thiesse and Madyson Larson supplied 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Ellie Kuehl chipped in 10 points for the Mavericks, while Jordan Gregory garnered five steals and doled out five assists.
MCW made 9 of 13 free throws on the game, while St. James hit 8 of 15 at the line.
Julie Beckius scored 13 points to top the Saints, while Allison Brandts added 10 points.
Martin County West (4-0, 2-0 Valley) plays host to Granada-Huntley-East Chain on Friday night in Sherburn.