ARMSTRONG - Emmetsburg's Tegan Olson entered Monday night's basketball game against North Union with a 7.1-point scoring clip.
Ironically, the E'Hawks' 5-foot-8 forward nearly matched her average during the opening two minutes of the fourth quarter.
Olson scored six consecutive points to rebuild the visitors' lead back to seven during that span before teammate Alexa Naig sank 9 of 10 free throws down the stretch to preserve the E'Hawks' 46-39 nonconference victory over the Warriors in Armstrong.
REJECTION — North Union’s Madison Irmiter (22) blocks a shot by Emmetsburg guard Kaity Mason (11) during nonconference basketball action Monday night in Armstrong. North Union’s Madison Bollig (40), Aurora Oliver (42), Alexis Valvick (24) and Dena Looft (second from left), along with Emmetsburg’s Ashton Connelly (13) and Tegan Olson (35), watch the low-post play. (Photo by Leanna Becker)
"They've got height and will probably pack their (defensive) zone against us and force us to shoot from the outside tonight," North Union head coach Merle Tigges said prior to the game's tipoff. "Offensively, they like to get the ball to their top two scorers (5-11 Alexa Naig and 5-11 Ashton Connelly)."
Emmetsburg did exactly what Tigges had predicted, utilizing its twin towers to build an early 12-9 lead, but the Warriors kept the contest close by sinking three second-quarter 3-pointers.
Alexis Valvick opened the second frame with a trifecta for North Union, and teammate Aurora Oliver drained a trey to knot the score at 12-all with 4:44 left before halftime.
Bailey Naig's right-wing 15-footer later restored a four-point E'Hawks' lead only to see Warrior power forward Sarah Rolling countered with a right-wing 3 for a deadlock at 16-all at the 2:40 juncture.
Unfortunately for the home team, Alexa Naig followed Emmetsburg's timeout 30 seconds later with a 3-pointer and a traditional 3-point play during the next series to widen the gap to 22-16.
Tegan Olson then converted one of Connelly's four assists into a low-post leaner with 18 seconds to go to stake the E'Hawks to an eight-point halftime edge.
The Warriors, however, exited the lockerroom to outscore the E'Hawks by a 9-2 margin in the third quarter to slice their deficit to 26-25.
Peyton Oleson drilled a 3-pointer, Madison Bollig sank two free throws and Dena Looft tossed in a 15-footer off one of Oliver's four assists to whittle North Union's gap to 24-23.
Bailey Naig's right-wing jumper accounted for all of Emmetsburg's third-period points before Rolling hit a putback basket for two of her team-best 14 points to carve the E'Hawks' lead to one again with 40 seconds left in the third.
Tegan Olson, however, reeled off six of her 11 points to restore a seven-point edge in the fourth frame before Alexa Naig snapped the nets on all but one of her 10 free throws to finish with a game-high 17 points to ice the win.
Looft delivered nine points off the Warriors' bench, while Bollig grabbed seven rebounds to complement five points. Oliver added five points to her four-assist performance.
Connelly, who carried a 16.1-point average into the game, displayed her overall skills by collecting eight points, seven boards, four steals and four assists.
North Union (6-4) plays host to Manson-Northwest Webster at 6 p.m. Thursday night in Armstrong.
Emmetsburg (6-4) plays host to Estherville-Lincoln Central on Friday night.
Blue Earth Area 62, Granada-Huntley-East Chain 54 - Taylor Grandgenett connected on 8 of 12 free throws during the second half to help the Bucs stave off the Mustangs, 62-54, during nonconference action Monday night at East Chain School.
Grandgenett finished with 14 points, while teammates Kaitlyn Olsen and Jenna Stevermer topped Blue Earth Area's balanced scoring attack with 18 and 17 points, respectively.
Brooke McDonald and Emily Zaharia each scored 14 points to pace GHEC's second-half comeback bid after trailing 36-21 by intermission.
Kenlie Pytleski produced a double-double effort of 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Mustangs, while teammate Rachel Shumski neared double-double territory with eight points and nine rebounds. Shumski and Allyson Cegelske distributed four assists each.
The Mustangs made 21 of 46 field goals and 10 of 18 free throws on the night.
Granada-Huntley-East Chain (4-6, 4-3 Valley) plays host to Martin County West on Thursday night at East Chain School.
Blue Earth Area (5-6) plays host to Southwest Star Concept tonight in Blue Earth.
Martin Luther 55, Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial 45 - Kayley Shoen delivered a game-best 22 points, seven rebounds and seven steals to guide the visiting Knights to a 10-point Valley Conference victory on Monday night in Lake Crystal.
Alexis Brummond supplied 10 points to Martin Luther's effort, while teammate Hunter Payne contributed seven points, five boards and three assists.
Rachel Sonnabend scored nine points to top LCWM, while Ashlie Wiens added eight.
Martin Luther made 18 of 45 shots from 2-point range, 3 of 8 behind the 3-point arc and 10 of 22 at the free throw line.
Martin Luther (4-6, 3-3 Valley) travels to Cleveland on Thursday night.
M. Luther 27-28-55