NEW ULM - Nicole Moldstad may remember "the shot" for the rest of her life.
The Minnesota Valley Lutheran Chargers junior nailed a 3-point shot with 4.1 seconds left that lifted the Chargers to a thrilling 43-42 victory over the Cedar Mountain/Comfrey Cougars in Tuesday night's Tomahawk Conference girls' basketball game.
This was a game where all aspects of basketball appeared, with the Cougars missing their final four free throws in the last minute that may have contributed as much to the loss as Moldstad's dagger.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
Cedar Mountain/Comfrey’s Haley Weidman is fouled by Minnesota Valley Lutheran’s Charlotte Pfingsten (34) as teammate Sarah Burk (right) looks on during the first half Tuesday at MVL.
"We knew CM/C would play well," MVL coach Dave Biedenbender said. "We were tentative in the first half. It seemed like I had to do all the pulling. It turns out that fouling them in the end was a good strategy."
For Cougars coach Mike Kelly, the game boiled down to a simple pass.
"We couldn't do the bounce pass tonight and it led to turnovers," Kelly said. "We had them on the ropes in the first half. Plus, they outrebounded us 9-1 offensively in the first half. We were a few clutch plays away."
Quite frankly, the first half consisted of some pretty sloppy basketball, with the teams combining for 20 turnovers. But it was CM/C that took the early offensive lead, going up 12-6 after a 3-pointer from Courtney Nelsen at the 9:00 mark.
The Chargers also had trouble containing freshman center Haley Weidman, who scored six in a row, giving the Cougars their largest margin of the game, 21-10.
Then MVL got some offense together, outscoring CM/C 8-2 and entering halftime down 23-18.
Chrissy Biedenbender started things off for the Chargers in the second half with a 3-pointer, with the teams taking five ties into the late stages of the contest, although the Cougars never surrendered the lead.
However, with CM/C holding a 39-38 lead, Weidman fouled out with 2:06 remaining after scoring 14 points and being a solid force in the middle. Andrea Ochs and Anna Munsen traded baskets for CM/C and MVL, putting the Cougars up 41-40.
But despite three trips to the free throw line, CM/C only got one more point, setting up Moldstad's dramatics.
"Hats off to Moldstad and Munsen," Biedenbender said. "We were going to go inside to Munsen, but she was triple teamed and she passed right to Moldstad."
Standing just outside the free throw arc, Moldstad fired off the 3. The Cougars had a last chance desperation shot that rolled off the rim to seal the win for MVL.
Munsen led all scorers with 18 points, followed by Weidman's 14 for CM/C.
MVL (19-4, 12-3) hosts New Ulm Cathedral at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday night, while CM/C hosts Wabasso at 7:30 p.m. on Friday in Comfrey.