NEW ULM - New Ulm Cathedral outmuscled Springfield 40-37 in a gritty Tomahawk Conference girl's basketball game on Friday night.
The Greyhounds (10-5, 7-5 Tomahawk) led 24-15 at the half, holding the Tigers to seven successful field goals and their leading scorer, Sonja Fiedler, to no more than five points.
"Cathedral is a physical team, they play good, solid defense," said Springfield coach Paul Arnoldi. "Just the physical nature underneath the basket tonight, I think they won a lot of loose-ball battles. Any rebound that was a one-on-one deal, they got a lot of those."
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
New Ulm Cathedral’s Kristin Mohr attempts a shot as Therese Roiger (43) defends on the play during the first half Friday at CHS.
For more photos of this event go to cu.nujournal.com
Junior post Anne Schwarz mitigated the shooting troubles of seniors Kristin Mohr and Karlee Pfaff with a double-double performance of 11 points and 11 rebounds for the Greyhounds.
"She's been playing really well the last two weeks," said Cathedral coach Jeremy Drexler. "[She's been] playing with a lot of composure and realizing that at her body size, nobody should force her off her spot."
Overall, Cathedral shot 24.5 percent from the floor and hit 8-of-18 free throws.
"I thought we did a great job of moving the basketball, we just didn't knock down a lot of shots," Drexler said. "Credit to Springfield for that, because they made us play a little bit faster than we want to."
Springfield (7-8, 6-5) took advantage of Cathedral's cold shooting early in the second half to pull to within two points after a 9-2 run. After a free throw by Schwarz made it 27-24, Joeli Arnoldi drained a 3-pointer to tie the game with 10:55 to go.
"We were more aggressive on the defensive end," Paul Arnoldi said. "We didn't do a good job of stopping penetration - we tended to follow a little bit ... but anytime you get a good look against their defense, you've got to take advantage of it because you don't get too many of those."
Cathedral went on an 11-4 tear from there, during which Schwarz scored five of her 11 points. The run lasted almost 8 minutes and put Cathedral ahead 38-31 with 2:40 to play.
Desperation turned the tides, however, as Jenny Thoreson hit back-to-back 3s to pull Springfield to within one at 38-37 with 0:50 on the clock.
"That was big in tonight's game, but that's big for her too," Arnoldi said. "She's a good shooter, but she has struggled from 3. That should be good for her confidence down the road here."
Leah Krzmarzick was fouled and hit 1-of-2 free throws with 0:20 remaining after a potential lead-changing shot by Bridget Fenger rimmed out.
A jump ball on the inbounds pass gave Cathedral the ball with 0:16 to go. Krzmarzick was fouled again, but missed both free throws to leave the Greyhounds leading 39-37.
Amy Davis broke to the corner for a 3-point attempt, but missed. Pfaff received the ball on the ensuing rebound and was fouled, hitting 1-of-2 free throws to seal the win for Cathedral.
Joeli Arnoldi led the Tigers with 11 points, nine rebounds and four assists. Fiedler finished with seven points.
Mohr finished with five points and seven rebounds, while Pfaff had nine and seven. Krzmarzick added nine points coming off the bench.
With the win, Cathedral has leapfrogged Springfield in the Tomahawk Conference for third place behind Minnesota Valley Lutheran and No. 10 Wabasso.
"We're playing with a lot of confidence and defensively, we're pretty solid," Drexler said. "We lose composure, we get out of our spots a little bit but overall, we're solid. Offensively, we're moving the ball really well. Now the question just becomes if we're going to knock down shots that night or not. But, I like where we're heading."
Cathedral will get a reprieve from conference play on Monday, when it hosts Sibley East. Springfield will host Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop on Monday.
Springfield 15 22 - 37
New Ulm Cathedral 24 16 - 40
Arnoldi 4-16 0-0 11, Fiedler 3-10 1-2 7, Davis 1-5 1-2 3, Milbrath 2-5 0-0 4, Roiger 1-7 0-0 2, Fenger 2-8 0-0 4, Thoreson 2-4 0-0 3, Hoyt 1-1 0-0 2, Rogotzke 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 16-59 2-4 37.
NEW ULM CATHEDRAL (40)
Eckstein 0-3 0-0 0, K Mohr 2-12 1-2 5, Pfaff 3-14 1-2 9, Simon 0-7 2-4 2, Schwarz 3-7 2-4 11, Krzmarzick 3-5 2-6 9, Gangelhoff 1-1 0-0 2, Laraway 1-4 0-0 2. Totals 13-53 8-18 40.