Girls Basketball: Spuds snatch a three-point win from Warriors
Moorhead 70, Warriors 67 Key: Key rebounds help Spuds top Brainerd Overall: Brd 10-11, M 15-7 Next: Brainerd at Sauk Rapids 7:30 p.m. Friday It was a matter of quality over quantity for the Moorhead Spuds Tuesday. The Brainerd Warriors outrebound...
Moorhead 70, Warriors 67
Key: Key rebounds help Spuds top Brainerd
Overall: Brd 10-11, M 15-7
Next: Brainerd at Sauk Rapids 7:30 p.m. Friday
It was a matter of quality over quantity for the Moorhead Spuds Tuesday.
The Brainerd Warriors outrebounded Moorhead 40-32 during their Section 8-4A matchup at Brainerd High School. But it was key rebounds that resulted in eight second-chance points in the second half alone resulting in the Spuds' 70-67 victory.
While it didn't create points, no Spud rebound was as detrimental to Brainerd as the one corralled by Sam Haiby off a missed free throw with 13.7 seconds left and Brainerd trailing 68-67.
"We outrebounded them by eight, but when we really needed one, they got it," Warrior head coach Troy Nelson said. "We had our two best rebounders down on the block and it took a long bounce and we didn't get it."
It resulted in another free throw attempt for Haiby, who missed that attempt as well.
Katy Johnson grabbed the rebound and sprinted up court. The senior found fellow senior Jenna Degen near the baseline. Degen drove toward the basket, attempted a layup, but missed.
"We're much better when we're in attack mode so I didn't want to call timeout," said Nelson. "Jenna got to the basket and we didn't get a call."
Moorhead's Brooke Tonsfeldt snared the rebound and was fouled by Johnson. Tonsfeldt, a sophomore forward, sank two free throws to finish with 19 points and give Moorhead the 3-point victory.
The Warriors had 2.1 seconds left to create an opportunity but Degen's pass missed an open Kylee Heurung and time expired.
Heurung scored a season-high 34 points, surpassing her previous season high by six points. The sophomore guard raised her season average to 19.5 points per game as she and Johnson delivered all but two of Brainerd's second-half points.
"I think our composure will come and we just have to play as a team," said Heurung. "I think we played as a team tonight. We played great today, which will help us win more games in the future. I think our confidence will grow from this despite the loss."
Moorhead jumped out on two 6-0 runs early in the second half leading to a 52-41 edge. Brainerd answered with an 9-0 run. The Warriors tied the score 60-60 at the 4:42 mark and tied it again 67-67 with 1:40 remaining. Moorhead then worked the clock down to about 20 seconds before attempting a shot.
Haiby, who finished with 16 points, missed the field goal, but landed herself on the line.
Moorhead's Meghan Horan and Beth Hulst each scored 10 points.
Johnson tallied 17 points and 11 rebounds for the Warriors, who turned the ball over 17 times.
"They panicked us for a second to start the second half and we just took a timeout and settled down," said Nelson. "Alexandria did it to us all night (Monday) night. We talked about being patient and the kids came out and did a good job."
Heurung added eight rebounds and three assists. Tedi Ramberg scored six points and grabbed nine boards.
Neither team established itself in the first half as the biggest lead by either team was four. There were five lead changes and three ties before Moorhead secured a 37-34 halftime edge.
"We played great in the first half and we just tried to do the same in the second half," Heurung said. "We were a little nervous coming in because they beat Alexandria and we just lost to them (Monday). We were coming into this as the underdog and actually we worked really well together."
It's the Spuds eighth straight win and Brainerd's fourth loss in its last five games.
"We're right there," Nelson said. "It's just a matter of finding a way to make that one play. I feel we gave everything. We left everything out there. I was proud we got down and battled back. We got down and battled back again. I just wish it would have went our way at the end."
Moorhead 37 33 - 70
Brainerd 34 33 - 67
Sam Haiby 16, Meghan Horan 12, Kortney Carney 8, Brooke Gronwold 3, Brooke Tonsfeldt 19, Beth Hulst 10. FG 28-86 (42.4 percent), FT 11-19 (57.9 percent). 3-point 3-12 (25.0 percent).
Jenna Degen 2, Katy Johnson 17, Kylee Heurung 34, Amy Southard 4, Tedi Ramberg 6, Ashley Huber 4. FG 22-52 (42.3 percent), FT 20-27 (74.1 percent). 3-point 3-15 (20 percent).
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at 855-5856 or firstname.lastname@example.org . Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jeremymillsop .