Fairmont’s 2nd-half surge fuels victory; No. 3 MCW tops No. 11 Spring Grove
FAIRMONT — “They were the better team in the first half. We’re going to be the better team in the second half.”
Fairmont’s girls basketball players heeded Cardinal head coach Sara Junkermeier’s halftime speech and transformed a 24-20 deficit into a 45-38 Big South Conference triumph over the much-improved youthful New Ulm Eagles on Friday night in Fairmont.
“It basically came down to stopping their dribble penetration during the second half, and forcing them to shoot from the perimeter,” said Junkermeier, whose basketball-hawking defense allowed only 14 New Ulm second-half points on 4-for-17 shooting from the field.
Grace Pendergast distributed back-to-back assists to Rayah Quiring and Cadee Becker for low-post baskets, respectively, before Fairmont’s sophomore guard hit a putback basket to inch the home team within 27-26 and force an Eagles’ timeout at the 12:43 juncture of the second half.
Quiring then distributed one of her three assists to Maggy Totzke for a net-snapping 3-pointer from the top of the key to cap the Cardinals’ pivotal 9-0 run just out of the short recess. Totzke’s trifecta gave Fairmont its first lead of the game at 29-27 with 12 minutes left in regulation.
Freshman Morgan Hulke, who topped the Eagles with 11 points, however, matched Totzke’s trey and then swiped the ensuing inbound pass for a layup and 32-29 lead.
“We finally grabbed the lead for good with that 8-0 run midway through the second half. That was clutch,” said Junkermeier.
Quiring spotted Becker for two of her 11 points in the low post before Brittney Mosloski converted a traditional 3-point play off a Cassidy Schultz assist. Mosloski then traded roles and spotted Emma Gudahl for a rim-hugging 3 to build Fairmont’s lead to 37-32 with 3:45 remaining.
Eighth-grader Brooklyn Lewis later tossed in two free throws before Kirsten Dennis banked home a long-distance left-wing 3-pointer to whittle the Eagles’ deficit to 39-38 with 51 seconds to go.
“Offensive rebounding,” was Junkermeier’s answer to the final 29 seconds of regulation.
Becker crashed the glass after a missed Cardinal free throw, drew a foul and hit the front end of a two-shot situation. Becker missed the second toss, but Quiring hauled down the board and fed Gudahl, who was fouled. Gudahl buried both free throws for a 42-38 lead with 21 seconds to go.
Quiring later sank two free throws with 9 seconds left before alertly swiping New Ulm’s rolled-in inbound pass, with Mosloski later getting fouled and making one charity toss.
Becker collected 11 points and seven boards for the Cardinals, Quiring produced nine points, seven rebounds, three steals and three assists, while Totzke supplied eight points and four steals. Mosloski scored seven, while Pendergast doled out four assists and pocketed three steals.
Lewis paced New Ulm with a game-best six steals to complement nine points and a team-high three assists, while Dennis finished with seven points off the bench.
Fairmont (13-2) plays host to Redwood Valley at 4:30 p.m. today at Cardinal Gym in Fairmont. New Ulm (7-7) plays host to Blue Earth Area on Thursday night.
Nevaeh Rahm produced 10 points and grabbed seven rebounds to power Fairmont to a 44-28 victory over New Ulm during B-squad action Friday night in Fairmont.
Grace Pendergast netted nine points, Brylee Miller scored seven points to complement doling out three assists, Abi Peyman tallied six points, Ellie Ortega garnered four boards and Hope Klanderud distributed three assists for the Cardinals (13-1).
West Hancock 60, North Union 48 — The Eagles avenged a nine-point loss during the Top of Iowa Conference teams’ first meeting earlier this season by rallying in the second half for a 12-point win over the Warriors on Friday night in Britt, Iowa.
Sam Nielsen produced a double-double performance of 10 points and 11 rebounds to pace North Union, while Olivia Von Bank neared double-double territory by netting 12 points to complement grabbing eight boards.
Cassie Beadle scored nine points and pocketed a team-leading six steals for the Warriors, Naomi Jones tallied nine points, while Lily Henderson chipped in six points and doled out three assists.
The Warriors made 11 of 28 shots from 2-point distance, 4 of 13 behind the 3-point arc and 14 of 20 at the free throw line.
North Union (10-3) travels to Buffalo Center, Iowa, on Monday night to face North Iowa.
Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman/Martin Luther 66, Cleveland 50 — Augustana University basketball commit Katelyn Diegnau generated stellar all-around numbers to power the Jaguars to a 16-point Valley Conference victory over the Clippers on Friday night in Northrop.
Diegnau produced game-highs of 21 points, eight rebounds, four blocked shots and three steals, while teammate McKenna Benck contributed 17 points and three steals to the winning effort.
Mallery Geistfeld netted solid all-around statistics of nine points, eight boards, four blocked shots and three steals for the Jaguars, while Lydia Fox added nine points.
Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman/Martin Luther (8-5) travels to St. Clair on Monday night.
St. Peter 71, Blue Earth Area 22 — Rhyan Holmgren and Annika Southworth combined for 35 points to march the Saints to a Big South Conference triumph over the Bucs on Friday night in Blue Earth.
Holmgren topped all scorers by generating 18 points, while Southworth contributed 17 points to the winning cause.
Madi Schiltz scored 10 points and hauled in seven rebounds to top the Bucs, Kate Armon netted seven points, while Sophia Keister supplied five points and seven boards.
Blue Earth Area (3-11) plays host to Tri-City United on Monday night. St. Peter (16-1) plays host to Minnehaha Academy at 3 p.m. today.
Martin County West 55, Alden-Conger/Glenville-Emmons 35 — Emily Anderson topped a balanced scoring attack to steer the Mavericks to a 20-point triumph over the Knights on Friday night in Glenville.
Ironically, MCW lost a two-point decision to AC/GE on Thursday night in a rare back-to-back scheduling of games.
Anderson poured in 11 of her game-high 17 points during the opening half, while teammate Kari Matejka delivered 12 points in the victory.
Lucy Larson netted 10 points for the Mavericks, Thea Anderson collected seven points, while Ella Carlson chipped in six points.
Martin County West (4-8 ) plays host to Madelia on Monday night in Sherburn.
Alden-Conger/Glenville-Emmons 54, Martin County West 52 — Cearra Grunzke netted 13 points and teammate Mallory Ignaszewski chipped in 10 more to help the Knights edge the Mavericks during Valley Conference action Thursday night in Sherburn.
The Knights doubled the Mavericks’ point production in the second half — 30-15 — to erase a 13-point deficit at the intermission to pull off the comeback win.
Emily Anderson and Ella Carlson each produced a co-game-high 15 points to top MCW, while Thea Anderson and Katie Hartke contributed eight and five points, respectively.
Martin County West 41, Spring Grove 33 — The Class 1A No. 3-ranked and unbeaten Mavericks held the No. 11-rated Lions to just 12 second-half points to win a defensive-oriented non-league clash of titans Friday night in Trimont.
Zach Anderson and Tanner Sinn each produced double-double performances to pace MCW, which trailed Spring Grove 21-18 at intermission.
Anderson scored 17 points, pulled down 10 rebounds and distributed three assists, while Sinn collected 14 points and 10 rebounds to complement pocketing three steals.
Christian Bachenberg grabbed five rebounds for the Mavericks, who made 11 of 21 shots from 2-point distance, 3 of 13 behind the arc and 10 of 15 at the free throw line.
Anderson and Sinn paced the Mavericks’ 30-15 edge in rebounding.
Martin County West (14-0) plays host to Madelia on Tuesday night in Trimont, while Spring Grove (11-3) travels to Madelia today for a 1 p.m. tipoff.
New Ulm 69, Fairmont 55 — Charlie Osborne poured in a game-best 26 points to guide the Eagles to a 14-point Big South Conference win over the Cardinals on Friday night in New Ulm.
Osborne sank 9 of 12 free throws to help pace New Ulm’s 20-for-27 performance at the line on the night. Zander Fischer made 6 of 7 at the charity stripe to pace his 16-point effort for the Eagles.
Zach Jorgensen produced 14 points and doled out three assists to top the Cardinals, while teammate Jacob Crissinger tossed in 13 points and pulled down six rebounds.
Armando Hernandez garnered a game-best 11 rebounds to complement six points for Fairmont, while Sawyer Tordsen and Levi Pooley chipped in six points each.
Gavin Junkermeier pocketed seven rebounds for the Cardinals, who made 24 of 58 field goals, including 3 of 11 from 3-point range. Fairmont made just 4 of 10 free throws on the game.
Fairmont (4-8) travels to Waseca on Monday night for a rescheduled game.
New Ulm defeated Fairmont in B-squad action, 56-44, Friday night in New Ulm.
Prince Lebbi scored 16 points to top the Cardinals, while Hadan Toomer collected 10 points.
Nolan Schultze delivered 13 points and Harmon Schrunk tossed in 12 more to lift Fairmont to a 37-26 win over New Ulm during C-squad action Friday night in New Ulm.