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Fairmont sinks free throws, St. Peter in BSC hoops clash

SMOTHERING DEFENSE — Fairmont’s Bryn Miller (14) prevents St. Peter’s Josie Wiebusch (24) from passing the basketball as Cardinal teammate Madysen Allen (left) helps apply pressure during Big South Conference action Friday night in Fairmont. Fairmont’s Cadee Becker (31) and St. Peter’s Morgan Kelly watch the action. (Photo by Greg Abel)

FAIRMONT — Fairmont girls basketball mentor Sara Junkermeier, her assistant coaches and all of her varsity players learned a number of valuable lessons during their away game in St. Peter three weeks ago.

Junkermeier and coaching staff opted for a matchup zone defense Friday night at Cardinal Gym, and the seam-clogging and pass-hindering strategy held the visiting Saints to 17 first-half points.

Madysen Allen poured in a game-high 14 points — all in the second half, Bryn Miller tallied 13 points and Rayah Quiring collected eight points, eight rebounds and three assists to engineer Fairmont’s 51-42 triumph over St. Peter at Cardinal Gym.

“We went with both man-to-man and zone defenses against them the first time we played,” Junkermeier said in reference to the Cardinals’ stunning 53-25 loss to the Saints on Feb. 5. “Tonight, I thought our matchup zone set the early tone and also allowed us to run more offensively.

“We handled their pressure much better, and everyone knew their roles tonight.”

Exactly. The 5-foot-4 Allen powered past opposing post players in the paint, Miller worked the baseline and boards, Quiring dominated the glass and found open teammates, Maggy Totzke nailed two 3-pointers, while Cadee Becker and Faith Olson proved defensive nuisances for St. Peter.

The Cardinals and Saints battled within three points of one another throughout the opening 18 minutes, with freshman post player Abby Maloney giving St. Peter a 12-11 lead on the heels of a putback basket and a converted one-and-one situation with 4 minutes left before intermission.

Totzke, however, countered with a net-snapping 3 off a Brittney Mosloski kickout pass to regain a 14-12 margin for the Cardinals with 2:24 to go before halftime.

Maloney, who grabbed a team-best eight boards, sank two more charity tosses for two of her team-leading 12 points to knot the game at 14-all with 1:34 showing. Mosloski made a solo free throw, but freshman guard Rhyan Holmgren buried a 3 with 7 seconds remaining to stake the Saints to a narrow 17-15 halftime lead.

The second half, however, belonged to Allen and Miller as the pair connected for 8 of 12 free throws to help Fairmont outscore St. Peter by a 36-25 margin. In fact, the Cardinals made two more free throws — 19 — on the game than the Saints attempted — 17 — to secure the nine-point Big South Conference win.

“Mady just attacked the basket to open the second half for us,” said Junkermeier. “No fear of taking it against a tall defense tonight.”

Allen reeled off the Cardinals’ initial nine points, including a left-wing 3 off a Quiring assist and a powerful left-handed drive in traffic, to offset Saints’ forward Morgan Kelly’s nine-point scoring surge during the second half’s early stages.

Tied at 28, Miller delivered six consecutive points to swing a temporary 34-30 lead back to the Cardinals. Miller cashed in a low-post leaner off an Olson inbound assist before producing a traditional 3-point play off a cutter set up by Emma Gudahl’s pass.

Annika Southworth’s leaning scoop lay-in and Abby Haggenmiller’s drive down the lane later put St. Peter ahead 39-36, but Fairmont would close out the final 4 minutes by outscoring the Saints by a 15-3 margin, including 11 free throws during the last 2 1/2 minutes.

Kelly finished with 11 points for St. Peter.

Fairmont (7-4) plays host to St. James Area on Tuesday night in another Big South game, while St. Peter (8-5) hits the road to Waseca on Tuesday night.

St. Peter 17-25–42

Fairmont 15-36–51

FAIRMONT (51)

Miller 4-5 5-9 13, Quiring 2-6 3-5 8, Becker 2-4 2-4 6, Allen 4-6 5-9 14, Olson 0-2 2-2 2, Totzke 2-3 0-0 6, Mosloski 0-1 2-4 2, Schultz 0-1 0-0 0, Gudahl 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 14-30 19-33 51.

ST. PETER (42)

Kelly 5-10 0-1 11, Holmgren 3-7 0-0 8, Maloney 2-5 8-8 12, Wiebusch 2-8 0-2 4, More 0-2 0-2 0, Kamm 0-2 1-2 1, Remmert 0-0 0-0 0, Haggenmiller 1-2 2-2 4, Southworth 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 14-38 11-17 42.

3-pointers: Fairmont 4-10 (Totzke 2-3, Allen 1-1, Quiring 1-4, Olson 0-1, Gudahl 0-1); St. Peter 3-11 (Holmgren 2-3, Kelly 1-2, Wiebusch 0-3, Kamm 0-2, Southworth 0-1). Fouled out: Kelly. Rebounds: Fairmont 26 (Quiring 8); St. Peter 23 (Maloney 8). Assists: Fairmont 6 (Quiring 3); St. Peter 6 (Wiebusch 3). Steals: Fairmont 10 (Allen 3); St. Peter 8 (Wiebusch 3).

Jazlyn Geerdes produced 16 points and grabbed six rebounds to propel Fairmont to a 41-32 victory over St. Peter during B-squad action Friday night in Fairmont.

Nevaeh Rahm netted seven points for the Cardinals, Olivia Ortega scored six points, while Abby Cihoski chipped in six boards.

Martin County West 73, Madelia 22 — Rubi Reyes erupted for a game-best 24 points to power the Mavericks to a 51-point Valley Conference rout over the Blackhawks on Thursday night in Trimont.

Reyes connected on three 3-pointers and seven 2-pointers to help Martin County West earn its sixth consecutive victory of the season.

Marissa Whitehead connected on two 3-pointers to help pace her 11-point performance for the Mavericks, while Lucy Larson and Katie Lange contributed eight and seven points, respectively, to the win.

Kari Matejka made a pair of treys to finish with six points for MCW, Emily Anderson chipped in six points, while Liv Borchardt and Ella Carlson added four points apiece.

The Mavericks built a 48-11 lead over the Blackhawks by halftime.

Martin County West (9-3) travels to Alden on Monday night to face Alden-Conger/Glenville-Emmons.

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