Girls basketball roundup: Rich takes over for NLS Wildcats in WildCard championship; KMS wins

Dec. 29—WILLMAR — Avery Rich took over at the right time for New London-Spicer.

Trailing 16-12 against Willmar in the first half of the Heritage Bank WildCard Holiday Tournament, the Wildcats' senior guard dominated before halftime. She scored the last 20 of NLS' first-half points to put her team up 32-27 at the break.

That led to a 57-43 victory for the Wildcats. Rich was named the tournament MVP after tallying 28 points, 10 steals and four assists.

"We got multiple people that have to contribute," said NLS head coach Mike Dreier. "(Tuesday) night it was Jaden (Coahran's) day. Today, it was Avery's."

Early on, Willmar's defense left NLS flustered. The sixth-ranked (Class AA) Wildcats had one field goal over the first nine minutes of the game.

"The girls worked really hard; super proud of how hard they worked," said Cardinals head coach Brendan Hedtke. "Defense was there and that's been a struggle for us at times. I was really proud of their effort."

For the second straight night, freshman Brielle Ogdahl was a defensive difference maker for the Cardinals. She had nine rebounds to go with four points. She was named to the all-tournament team.

"She's been awesome for us," Hedtke said of Ogdahl. "She rebounds the ball super well. I talked to her and told her we needed that. These last two games, she's bought into that and she's been great there. Defensively, too, blocking or even altering shots, she's making girls scared to drive on her and attempt a layup."

Willmar cut NLS' lead to 34-30 early in the second half after a Telilie Lange 3-pointer. But from that point, the Wildcats claimed control. They went on a 14-2 run just by doing the little things better, according to Dreier.

"We needed to take care of the ball better," Dreier said. "We were lax with it and we were getting beat to loose balls quite a bit and out-physicaled on the glass. A lot of things we have to do better if we're going to be a high-level team."

Along with NLS' 2-3 zone defense, the Wildcats pestered Willmar's ball-handlers by pressing and trapping at half-court. The Cardinals got as close as eight points the rest of the way.

"The biggest thing is we've kind of struggled with presses, but I thought we did a pretty good job tonight," Hedtke said. "We're a little out of shape with all the days off; we haven't been able to practice and get up and down the court. ... They were working so hard on defense that by the time they got the ball on offense, sometimes they're half a second slow because they're so tired. But I'm proud of the girls for working through it."

Also on the all-tournament team were Willmar's Allie Rosendahl, NLS' Coahran, Central Minnesota Christian's Sienna Duininck and Redwood Valley's Kendall Huhnerkoch.

The Wildcats return to action Friday, Jan. 6 at home against Watertown-Mayer in the teams' Wright County Conference opener. Willmar plays host to top-ranked (Class AAA) Becker on Tuesday.

"We need to refocus on the little things that are very important; we were sloppy the last couple days, without a doubt," Dreier said. "Part of that, I hope, is that we had a lot of time off with the weather. We'll see."

NLS (7-0) 32 25 — 57

Willmar (1-6) 27 16 — 43

NLS — Scoring: Jaden Coahran 3, Avery Rich 28, Ava Carlson 6, Kaylee Thorson 1, Ellary Peterson 3, Dakota Rich 12, Delaney Hanson 3, Katelynn Tortorella 1 ... 3-point shots: A. Rich 3, Carlson 1, D. Rich 2, Hanson 1 ... Rebound leader: Peterson 12 ... Assist leader: A. Rich 4, D. Rich 4 ... Steal leader: A. Rich 10, D. Rich 5 ... Block leader: Hanson 1

WILLMAR — Scoring: Zoe Schroeder 13, Telilie Lange 10, Kenedee Salonek 9, Allie Rosendahl 6, Brielle Ogdahl 4, Deshawna Hodges 1 ... 3-point shots: Lange 2, Rosendahl 2, Schroeder 2, Salonek 1 ... Rebound leader: Ogdahl 9, Schroeder 9 ... Assist leader: Lange 4 ... Steal leader: Lange 3 ... Block leader: Rosendahl 2

Redwood Valley held off a last-minute charge from Central Minnesota Christian to take third place at the Heritage Bank WildCard Holiday Tournament at the Big Red Gym in Willmar.

Sienna Duininck scored a layup for the Bluejays to cut the Cardinals' lead to 38-37. CMCS had two chances to get a possession after missed free throws from Redwood Valley, only for the Cardinals to grab the offensive rebound. With 19.6 left, Kenzie Lundeen went 1-for-2 at the stripe to put her team up three.

Duininck had two chances at hitting a game-tying 3-pointer, only for the ball to bounce off the rim. She finished with a game-high 16 points, including 10 in the second half.

The Bluejays resume Camden Conference play Tuesday at Ortonville.

Redwood Valley (2-4) 23 17 — 40CMCS (0-8) 13 24 — 37REDWOOD VALLEY — Scoring: Kenzie Lundeen 3, Hailyn Ourada 3, Madisyn Mertens 2, Brynne Farasyn 6, Morgan Kodet 4, Jessica Barber 3, Cali Johnson 3, Kylee Larsen 5, Kendall Huhnerkoch 11 ... 3-point shots: Ourada 1, Kodet 1, Barber 1 ... Rebound leader: n/a ... Assist leader: n/a ... Steal leader: n/a ... Block leader: n/a

CMCS — Scoring: CC Roiseland 2, Lilly Mellema 2, Natasha Erickson 2, Carrie Mulder 11, Lauren Taatjes 4, Sienna Duininck 16 ... 3-point shots: Mulder 1, Duininck 1 ... Rebound leader: Taatjes 6, S. Duininck 6, Avery Duininck 6 ... Assist leader: Roiseland 3 ... Steal leader: S. Duininck 3 ... Block leader: Taatjes 1

Isabel Klumper scored 21 points and grabbed eight rebounds to help Westbrook-Walnut Grove eliminate Dawson-Boyd at Marshall.

Blackjacks senior forward Kate Dahl led Dawson-Boyd in scoring. She had 13 points with one three-pointer.

Dawson-Boyd returns to action in the new year, hosting MACCRAY at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 3, at Dawson-Boyd High School in Dawson.

Dawson-Boyd (1-5) 17 16 — 33

Westbrook-Walnut Grove (5-2) 27 23 — 50

DAWSON-BOYD — Scoring: Kate Dahl 13, Allison Estling 9, Hayley Anderson 7, Ayiana Hastad 2, Rachel Jorgens 2 ... 3-point shots: Dahl 1, Estling 1 ... Rebound leader: Hastad 4, Anderson 4 ... Assist leader: Teagan Strand 1, Estling 1 ... Steal leader: Chelsie Husby 3 ... Block leader: Hastad 1, Dahl 1

WESTBROOK-WALNUT GROVE — Scoring: Isabel Klumper 21, Addeson Jenniges 7, Riley Parker 6, Amelia Sikel 6, Leah Carter 6, Abby Wiggins 3, Natalie Wahl 1 ... 3-point shots: Parker 2, Jenniges 1, Klumper 1 ... Rebound leader: Klumper 8 ... Assist leader: n/a ... Steal leader: Wiggins 2, Sikel 2 ... Block leader: n/a

Southwest Minnesota Christian edged Lac qui Parle Valley at Marshall.

LQPV's record is now 6-2. The Flying Dutchmen are now 3-4.

The Eagles are host to BOLD at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Madison.

Audrey Burkhart scored 25 points to help Southwest Christian dominate Litchfield in the opening round of the Crusader Christmas Classic at St. Cloud Cathedral.

Morgan Falling scored nine points for the Dragons. Greta Hansen had eight rebounds.

In other tournament games, Melrose beat Concordia Academy 53-38 and Cathedral beat Moose Lake-Willow River 51-16.

Litchfield takes on Moose Lake-Willow River at 11 a.m. Thursday. Melrose plays Southwest Christian at 2:15 p.m. and Concordia Academy faces Cathedral at 5:30 p.m.

Southwest Christian (6-0) 38 37 — 75

Litchfield (2-4) 10 18 — 28

SOUTHWEST CHRISTIAN — Scoring: Audrey Burkhart 25, Chloe Brunsberg 18, Kylie Beckering 6, Kristin O'Brien 5, Brooke Nicklaus 5, Malena Straub 4, Maddie Schmidt 4, Kaitlyn Wercinski 4, Hallie Greer 4 ... 3-point shots: Burkhart 7, Brunsberg 3, Beckering 2, O'Brien 1, Nicklaus 1 ... Rebound leader: n/a ... Assist leader: n/a ... Steal leader: n/a ... Block leader: n/a

LITCHFIELD — Scoring: Morgan Falling 9, Izzy Pennertz 5, Adallia Bruning 3, Shelby Dengerud 3, Anna Sorgatz 3, Greta Hansen 2, Ellie Brown 2, Grace Holmgren 1 ... 3-point shots: Bruning 1, Sorgatz 1 ... Rebound leader: Hansen 8 ... Assist leader: n/a ... Steal leader: n/a ... Block leader: n/a

Norwood Young America knocked off BOLD in the first round of its tournament at Norwood Young America.

Emma Conser scored 24 points, Lauren Schmidt had 20 and Kassi Hmmann added 16 for the Raiders.

Kenzie Visser had 19 points, six rebounds and two steals and Mari Ryberg added 13 points, 11 rebounds and four steals for the Warriors, who played without Lainey Braulick.

In the other tournament game, Jordan beat Northfield 57-43.

BOLD (5-2) 25 31 — 56

NYA (4-2) 35 33 — 68

BOLD — Scoring: Rylie Baen 9, Mari Ryberg 13, Kenna Henriksen 4, Anna Moorse 2, Kenzie Visser 19, Lily Dean 3, Layla Pfarr 6 ... 3-point shots: Bean 3, Ryberg 2, Dean 1, Pfarr 2 ... Rebound leaders: Ryberg 11, Visser 6 ... Assist leaders: Ryberg 2, Dean 2 ... Steal leaders: Ryberg 4, Visser 2, Dean 2 ... Block leader: Ryberg 1

NYA — Scoring: Emma Conser 24, Lauren Schmidt 20, Kassi Hermrmann 16, Norah Erickson 5, Britney Smith 3 ... 3-point shots: Conser 6, Herrmann 3, Smith 1, Schmidt 1 ... Rebound leader: n/a ... Assist leader: n/a ... Steal leader: n/a ... Block leader: n/a

Sophia Oerter and Acelynn Hacker led Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg to a CVB Holiday Classic victory at Windom. Oerter had 18 points and Hacker had 12.

KMS plays host to Renville County West in the new year at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 2, at KMS High School.

KMS (6-2) 30 23 — 53

East Central (2-7) 7 15 — 22

KMS — Scoring: Sophia Oerter 18, Acelynn Hacker 12, Julia Carlson 9, Josie Gjerde 6, Elsa Gjerde 3, Emily Zurn 3, Savannah Petersen 2 ... 3-point shots: Hacker 2, E. Gjerde 1, J. Gjerde 1, Zurn 1 ... Rebound leader: Petersen 6 ... Assist leader: J. Gjerde 3 ... Steal leader: J. Gjerde 4 ... Block leader: Carlson 1, Zurn 1

EAST CENTRAL — Scoring: Elsie Laursen 11, McKenzie Ludwig 7, Izzy Olson 3, Carly Watrin 1 ... 3-point shots: Laursen 1, Olson 1 ... Rebound leader: n/a ... Assist leader: n/a ... Steal leader: n/a ... Block leader: n/a