By Dave Clark
Journal Sports Writer
NEW ULM - The Wabasso Rabbits beat the Minnesota Valley Lutheran Chargers in girls' basketball Tuesday night by winning the fourth quarter, even though there's only two halves.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
Wabasso’s Kimberly Frank drives to the basket as Mariah Schoof of Minnesota Valley Lutheran defends during the second half Tuesday at MVL. Looking on is the Rabbit’s Karlee Eichten.
For more photos of this event go to cu.nujournal.com
While the Chargers led exactly 27 minutes of the game, the Rabbits dominated the final nine to defeat MVL 56-47.
This was accomplished by Wabasso cutting its turnovers from 15 in the first half to just seven in the second and by cranking up the defense and allowing center Chelsey Guetter more freedom of movement that let her spend more time driving into the paint.
"The difference was we took care of the ball in the second half," Wabasso coach Neil Dolan said. "We made some adjustments at halftime and that made a difference. The girls battled all the way and we put Chelsey in the high post."
It was a bad night for the Chargers in more ways than one. Already missing forward Megan Stein for the past week with a separated shoulder, forward starter Sarah Burk came out of the game three minutes into the contest with an injury.
"Considering we were two post players down we're fortunate to be where we were," MVL coach Dave Biedenbender said. "We held our own for quite a while. We had two girls playing post that don't normally play post. But Wabasso did a good job defensively"
It was the Chargers roaring off to a fast start, taking advantage of two Wabasso turnovers to take a 7-0 lead two minutes into the game after a long jumper from Emily Wessel. MVL would have its largest lead of the game at 17-6 with eight minutes left in the half.
The Chargers looked like they'd be taking a 24-17 lead into the half, but Kimberly Frank turned a MVL turnover into a layup with less than ten seconds left, an omen for MVL's second half.
While the Chargers did hold a 28-22 lead early, a 3-pointer by the Rabbits' Ellen Franta shaved it to 28-25, with Wabasso finally knotting it at 31-31 after a Guetter free throw.
Another MVL turnover led to a Desirae Kramer layup that gave the Rabbits their first lead at 36-34 with 9:00 left in the game. Chrissy Biedenbender responded with a trey that briefly gave the Chargers a 37-36 lead, but a Guetter layup quickly put Wabasso up 38-37.
After that, it was all Rabbits, with the final strike coming in the way of a three point play by Franta with two minutes remaining that put Wabasso up 52-45. Four more points by Frank finished off the Chargers, moving the Rabbits to 13-2 overall and 8-0 in the Tomahawk Conference. MVL drops to 9-5, 5-3 in the conference.
Frank led all scorers with 18 points, while Guetter had 15 and Franta ended with 12. Anna Munsen led the Chargers with 10.
MVL travels to play Sleepy Eye St. Mary's on Thursday at 7:30 p.m., while Wabasso hosts Cedar Mountain/Comfrey on Friday at 7:30 p.m.