Girls Basketball: Lock-down defense secures win for Warriors

Brainerd's Olivia Tautges maneuvers with the ball against Sartell Friday, Dec. 6, at Brainerd High School. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

Brainerd Warriors guard Olivia Tautges fouled Sartell Sabres guard Avery Templin on a 3-point shot with no time on the clock in the first half.
Templin made all three of her free throws to give the Sabres a 19-17 lead into halftime.

Whatever Brainerd head coach Troy Nelson said at halftime worked. The Warriors responded with a 15-0 run to start the second half and go on to defeat the Sabres 48-29 Friday, Dec. 6, at Brainerd High School.

“I told them to keep playing really hard and keep playing defense,” Nelson said. “The shots were going to fall if we kept playing together.”

The run lasted a little over 10 minutes as the Sabres did not score their first points of the second half until 7:47 remaining. Brainerd held the Sabres to 10 points on 3-of-21 shooting in the second half.

Brainerd forward Autumn Miles got the second-half run started with her second 3-pointer. Myah Nelson followed up her scoreless first half with 10 second-half points and nailed a 3-pointer to force a Sabres timeout with 14 minutes left.


Erika Lane hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give Brainerd a double-digit lead it would not give up.

The Warriors’ defense held the Sabres without a field goal until 5:58 remained.

Both teams started the game sluggishly. The Warriors played a game the night before which might have contributed to the slow start.

“I think we had to work that out of our body,” Nelson said, “and we really shot the ball well in the second half. In the first half, shots we normally hit just did not fall. Today we kept our energy up and continued to play defense.”

Tautges led the Warriors with 14 points. She was the main focus on offense for Brainerd in the first half where she had eight points.

“I was looking for the rip and drive and when I was open to shoot it,” Tautges said. “I just had so much more confidence from last games to make the shots.”

She made a big 3-pointer in the second half to stretch the Warrior lead out to 15 with under six minutes remaining.

The Warriors as a team shot 10-of-20 in the second half compared to 7-of-22 in the first.


Brainerd also made eight 3-pointers compared to the Sabres’ two. The Warriors featured three different players in double digits -- Taugtes, Nelson and Lane.

“We got a lot of kids who can score,” Nelson said. “It depends on what game, which one is hot, which one has the best looks, and when we share the ball you never know who is going to be our leading scorer.”

Brainerd forced Sartell to shoot a woeful 20% from the field and an even worse 11% from 3-point range.

No player scored in double figures for the Sabres.

“We stayed within our system and we were in passing lanes and getting deflections,” Nelson said of the defense. “We want to be known for great half-court defense, so I think this game is helping us reach that goal.”

For more photos, go to .

Sartell 19 10 -- 29
Brainerd 17 31 -- 48


Megan Driste 2, Gretta Mahowald 2, Rylie DeMaine 3, Avery Templin 9, Emily Crandell 6, Libby Crandall 3, Adyn Larson 2, Courtney Snoberger 2. FG 9-46 (20 percent), FT 9-15 (67 percent). 3-point 2-19 (11 percent).

Kate Stadum 4, Myah Nelson 10, Autumn Miles 6, Ally Brzezinski 2, Olivia Tautges 14, Grace Zimmerman 1, Erika Lane 11. FG 17-42 (40 percent), FT 6-10 (60 percent). 3-point 8-21 (38 percent).

Warriors 48, Sartell 29

Key: Warriors held Sartell to 10 points and three field goals in the second half.

Conference: Brd 2-1, Sar 0-2.

Overall: Brd 2-2, Sar 0-3.

Next: at Moorhead 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10.]


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