NEW ULM - Losing streaks were on the line when the New Ulm Cathedral Greyhounds clashed with the Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop Thunderbirds in girls basketball Friday night.
In the end, it was the Greyhounds that re-entered the win column and snapped a three-game skid by beating the Thunderbirds 59-51, GFW's seventh straight loss.
With center Anne Schwartz out for another couple of weeks with an injury, Cathedral has had to put a few players in different spots than they're used to, and it appeared the Greyhounds are starting to adjust, with the team pulling away at the end of the game after letting GFW hang around the first three-fourths of the contest.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop’s Halley Busse (10) passes the ball as Leah Krzmarzick of New Ulm Cathedral defends on the play during the first half Friday at CHS.
Meanwhile, the Thunderbirds are a young team being led by eighth-grader Halley Busse, who scored 23 against the Greyhounds. GFW also shaved about 20 points off its loss to Cathedral earlier in the season.
"We needed this win," Greyhounds coach Mary Dengerud said. "We played much better defense in the second half. The girls always play hard."
"We"re starting to figure things out," Thunderbirds coach Ryan Jacobson said. "We've been in the last three ballgames. Cathedral's a big, physical team. I told them at halftime we'd either have to box out or all grow four inches, I didn't care which."
It was actually GFW that controlled the early tempo of the game, darting out to a 12-8 lead thanks to two 3-pointers and a bank shot from Busse. The Greyhounds came back to grab a 14-12 lead behind six straight points by Karlee Pfaff. A Pfaff layup later opened a 23-16 margin for Cathedral, but GFW returned four straight to make it 23-20.
The score stood 31-25 at halftime, Greyhounds, with Paige Pautzke starting Cathedral off on the right note with a bucket starting the second half. But once again, the Thunderbirds fought back with four points by Alexis Jensen that sliced the Greyhounds lead to 33-29.
Cathedral scored the next six, four by Lisa Helget, to take its first double-digit lead of the night, 39-29, four minutes into the half.
The Greyhounds held eight to 11-point margins until Lindsay Simon snagged consecutive steals and baskets, with her long jumper with 3:00 left in the game making it 55-42 and putting the dagger in GFW's chances for a comeback.
Pfaff scored 16 for Cathedral, while Helget added 15. Busse had her 23 while Eve Bleick added 10 for the Thunderbirds.
The Greyhounds (10-5, 6-4) host Truman Monday night at 7:30 p.m., while GFW plays Wabasso at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in Winthrop.