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Cougars hold off Chargers

January 11, 2014
Jake Calhoun , The Journal

By Jake Calhoun

Journal Sports Writer

NEW ULM - All Courtney Nelsen did was keep her head up.

Article Photos

Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
Cedar Mountain/Comfrey’s Courtney Nelsen (20) shoots the ball over Mariah Stein of Minnesota Valley Lutheran Friday at MVL.
For more photos of this event go to

After shooting 20 percent from the field in a loss to Sleepy Eye St. Mary's on Tuesday, Nelsen's 23 points led Cedar Mountain/Comfrey to a 60-51 victory against Minnesota Valley Lutheran on Friday night.

The win snapped a two-game losing skid for the Cougars (7-3, 4-3 Tomahawk).

"We stayed positive the whole game," Nelsen said. "We really didn't get down like we usually do. We worked on a lot of shooting drills, which helped us."

The Cougars shot 36 percent (18-of-50) from the field and 46.2 percent (6-of-13) from 3-point range. Nelsen was hot from beyond the arc, nailing 3-of-4 in the first half and 4-of-5 overall.

"I think her playing a good defensive game got her going offensively," said CM/C coach Mike Kelly of Nelsen. "She was more focused tonight and she played a whale of a game for us."

This was the first conference loss of the season for the Chargers (7-2, 4-1), ending their three-game winning streak.

MVL's last lead of the entire game came early in the first half after Charlotte Pfingsten's second 3-pointer made it 8-7. CM/C regained the lead, however, and proceeded to disrupt MVL's flow offensively.

"They played real good man-to-man defense and they sagged and held quite a bit on our inside girls," said MVL coach David Biedenbender. "Our girls just never adjusted to that. We kept trying to force it in where it wasn't and [weren't] being patient with what we were doing."

Anna Munsen led the Chargers with 15 points, which included a 7-of-10 stand from the free-throw line. Alexa Alfred joined Pfingsten in each adding 11 points.

The Chargers pulled to within six points at 37-31 after a free throw by Johanna Kettner, but a 7-0 CM/C run widened the gap to 13.

MVL's 12-6 run down the anxious stretch of the second half narrowed the lead to 50-43.

When the Chargers started fouling to stop the clock, the Cougars sealed the win with 10 free throws.

"It will help them a lot, but once again it's going to come down to how we shoot the basketball," Kelly said. "One night, we shoot well and the next night all of a sudden we don't shoot well. But getting a big win against MVL, that should give us some confidence."

MVL will play at Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart, while CM/C will host Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop. Both games will tip off at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday.


CM/C 30 30 - 60

MVL 19 32 - 51

Leading scorers

CMC: Courtney Nelsen 23 7-13 5-7, Andrea Ochs 12 4-14 3-6, Lauren Boyle 9 2-6 5-10, Brianna Lund 8 2-3 4-11.

MVL: Anna Munsen 15 4-12 7-10, Charlotte Pfingsten 11 3-12 2-4, Alexa Alfred 11 2-6 7-8, Nicole Moldstad 8 3-7 2-2.



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