By Brenda Erdahl, Sports Editor
The Maple Lake girls basketball team snagged two Central Minnesota Conference wins last week.
On Monday, Feb. 5, the Irish rallied to defeat Belgrade- Brooten-Elrosa 48-43, then cruised to a 59-41 win over Paynesville on Friday, Feb. 9.
Maple Lake is now 13-7 on the season and 8-4 in the conference.
The Irish looked to avenge an earlier season loss to the 16-5 Jags, Monday, but got off to a rocky start. An effort to create offense using full court pressure didn’t go as planned for the Maple Lake team and B-B-E was able to jump to a 10-point lead halfway through the first half.
The Irish regrouped after a timeout and went on an 8-0 run to pull within two points. Maple Lake continued its patient approach on offense to tie the game at 22 at the break.
Both teams came out with full court pressure to start the second half, hoping to change the pace of the game, coach Adam Ronnenberg said.
The Irish trailed by as many as four, but the ball handlers looked determined to claw their way back. Mollie Scheiber connected on a three-pointer to cut the Jags lead to one with six minutes to go. Despite a quick score by B-B-E, Mackenna Brown connected on a three pointer to time the game at 36, and the Irish momentum was building. With the game later tied at 42, the Irish had the ball and worked inside out, passing to Linsey Rachel in the post before a quick kick out to Scheiber who connected on a her second three pointer of the night to take a 45- 42 lead with about two minutes to play.
Rachel hit three out of four free throws down the stretch to secure the win.
“This was a very good win for us. We controlled the pace of the game and were patient, yet efficient on offense. Defensively, we controlled their post play and rebounded very well,” Ronnenberg said.
Rachel led all scorers with 17 points and 11 rebounds; Mollie Scheiber put in another solid night’s work with eight points, Ronnenberg said, and Grace Heying added nine points and grabbed nine rebounds.
The Irish out-rebounded the Jags 34-29 and shot 39 percent from the floor compared to just 28 percent by BBE.
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