Girls Basketball: Sartell takes advantage of Brainerd’s mistakes

Brainerd hosts Sartell Tuesday Feb. 21.

Warrior girls playing basketball.
Brainerd girls basketball head coach Troy Nelson plans strategy during a time-out with his players Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023, at Brainerd High School.
Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch

BRAINERD — Turnovers plagued the Brainerd Warriors Tuesday, Feb. 21.

The Sartell Sabres forced Brainerd into 22 turnovers on their way to a 54-37 victory over the Warriors in a Central Lakes Conference and Section 8-4A matchup.

Brainerd held a slim 19-17 lead with 1:30 left in the first half before the Sabres went on a 10-0 run in the last 90 seconds highlighted by three straight steals which led to three layups.

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“That was huge because we were struggling to score there,” Sartell head coach Katie Martin said. “Brainerd does such a good job defensively, so to get some steals and get some transition baskets going into half gave us some much-needed momentum.”

Trailing by eight points at the half, the closest the Warriors got in the second half was six points.


The Sabres stretched their lead with a 10-1 run followed by a 9-0 run to make it 54-32.

“I thought at the start of the game we came out and played really good defense,” Warriors head coach Troy Nelson said. “Offensively, I thought we were taking care of the ball and then we let them go on a little run in the last minute of the first half. But those first 17 minutes were really good basketball by us.”

Sartell was led by its two guards Avery Templin, who scored a game-high 21 points, and Chloe Turner, who added 17.

Warrior girls playing basketball.
Brainerd Warrior Addison Bjorklund lifts the ball to the basket against Sartell Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023, at Brainerd High School.
Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch

“They are a dynamic duo and have the ability to score by attacking and shooting,” Martin said. “When we can get them out in transition it helps.”

Nelson added: “We could not let (Templin) get open shots. We really concentrated on gaps and no baseline since (Turner) is really good off the dribble. We just tried to take in front and hopefully have a gap to contest a shot. I thought overall, we did a good job on it.”

The Warriors did not register a player in double figures with Karley Dunham, Brook Sanberg and Allison Thomes all scoring eight points. Mya Tautges was sidelined with an injury.

Sartell’s defense held Brainerd to 37.1% from the field and 25% shooting from 3-point.

“We just try to lock in on man-to-man defense and be in gaps,” Martin said. “We have been jumping to the ball and doing the little things really well.”


The last time the Warriors played Sartell they scored three points in the first half in a 44-18 loss.

Warrior girls playing basketball.
Brainerd Warrior Kylee Soens goes in for a layup Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023, against Sartell at Brainerd High School.
Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch

Brainerd finishes its regular season Friday, Feb. 24, at Alexandria. They will play in the Section 8-4A quarterfinals Thursday, March 2.

“We turned it over 22 times tonight and that’s 22 shots we don’t get,” Nelson said. “Obviously, we are going to turn the ball over, but if we can be at 13 to 15 that gives us seven more shots and who knows. I thought we were trying to make good passes. We were just forcing some things.”

Sartell 27 27 — 54

Brainerd 19 18 — 37


Kaia Gack 2, Reese Geiger 4, Avery Templin 21, Brenna McClure 4, Emily Crandall 3, Chloe Turner 17, Gabrielle Schumann 3. FG 21-46 (45.7%), FT 10-14 (71.4%). 3-point 2-12 (16.7%).


Kate Stadum 3, Kylee Soens 4, Emma Sheflo 5, Brook Sandberg 8, Karley Dunham 8, Allison Thomes 8, Addison Bjorklund 1. FG 13-35 (37.1%), FT 8-12 (67%). 3-point 3-12 (25%).

Sartell 54, Warriors 37

Key: Sartell takes advantage of Brainerd’s miscues.
Conference: Brd 5-7, Sar 11-2.
Overall: Brd 9-15, Sar 18-7.
Next: Brainerd at Alexandria 7:15 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24.

CONRAD ENGSTROM may be reached at 218-855-5861 or Follow on Twitter at

Started at the Dispatch in June of 2019.
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