NEW ULM - Basketball is generally a game of runs.
Luckily for Minnesota Valley Lutheran, it was able to have the last one as the Chargers scored 13 unanswered points late in the second half to propel them to a 61-53 win over Wabasso in a pivotal Tomahawk girls basketball contest.
Chrissy Biedenbender led the Chargers with 13 points and was the main key for MVL in its second-half run. She hit three 3-point baskets in four possessions to help put the Chargers ahead for good.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
Minnesota Valley Lutheran's Anna Munsen (50) takes a shot over Chelsey Guetter of Wabasso during the first half Tuesday at MVL.
"Chrissy can really shoot for us," Charger coach Dave Biedenbender said. "She stepped up in the second half and hit a few big 3s off of our press breaker."
Wabasso pressured the Chargers all game with its full-court press and it was something that the Chargers talked about.
"We knew we had to be ready for their press," Coach Biedenbender said. "They were successful with their diamond press and we talked about being more patient and keeping the ball in the middle of the floor more in the second half."
Wabasso went up 5-2 early in the first half when MVL went on a 15-2 run to push the lead to 17-7, but something was missing for Wabasso during that run. Chelsey Guetter came back in after some early foul trouble and helped put the Rabbits on a 9-2 run of their own to cut the MVL lead down to two.
"Chelsey played a good game, she is our leader out there," Wabasso coach Neil Dolan said. "She always gives 100 percent out there and she helped our team the whole game with that energy."
Guetter finished with team highs in both points (20) and rebounds (14). Wabasso's Ellen Franta hit one of her three 3-pointers in the first half to put Wabasso up two.
The game continued to be close early on in the second half as both teams came out and attempted to seize control of the game. That is when MVL went on a 13-0 run to go up 46-36 in the second half.
MVL allowed Wabasso to stay in it though with some poor free throw shooting down the stretch, only making 11-of-27 free throws taken during the game.
Cold outside shooting was a problem for Wabasso in the second half as the Rabbits missed all 12 3-point shots they took.
"We needed someone to step up and hit a shot and it never happened," Dolan said. "The effort on the press was not there at times tonight and that did not help. But credit MVL, they played well."
The two teams both came in undefeated in Tomahawk Conference play.
"This game should give us confidence going forward this year," Coach Biedenbender said. "We beat a good team here tonight, if we continue to work hard we can be a successful team this year."
The two teams will meet again at Wabasso later in the year in what will no doubt be a huge game in deciding the champion of the Tomahawk Conference.
MVL improves to 12-1 overall and 6-0 in conference play and will go to Cedar Mountain/Comfrey on Friday. Wabasso fell to 4-1 in conference play and 9-2 overall and will travel to Sleepy Eye on Thursday night.