By Dave Clark
Journal Sports Writer
MORGAN - Never discount the importance of halftime adjustments.
Down 16-15 to New Ulm Cathedral after the first half of the Section 2A, North Subsection girls basketball game, Cedar Mountain/Comfrey coach Mike Kelly decided to overload one side of the court with his two best shooters.
The result was a breakout half for junior guard Andrea Ochs, who scored 16 of the Cougars' 25 second half points as CM/C knocked Cathedral out of the playoff picture with a 40-37 victory.
"We decided to move Andrea to the wing to help her get easier shots by putting our shooters on the same side," Kelly said. "We're the top two defensive teams in the Tomahawk Conference, but we're also the last two in scoring and Andrea responded in a big way."
For Cathedral coach Jeremy Drexler, it was a case of iron rim syndrome. "We just didn't make the shots," Drexler said. "We had shots all night, they just weren't going in. I just want to thank our seniors Kelli Eckstein, Kristin Mohr, Karlee Pfaff and Lindsay Simon for being a great role model for our kids. We just didn't get it done."
The game started with the Greyhounds looking like they might the Cougars off their home court. They took a 12-2 lead by scoring 10 points off CM/C turnovers and getting three point plays from Anne Schwarz and Karlee Pfaff.
Midway through the first half, Cathedral was still up 12-4, but Brianna Lund would hit a 3-pointer and a bucket, Ochs nailed a 3 and Karliana Kelly tossed in a bank shot that made it 14-14.
The Greyhounds' 16-15 halftime lead didn't last long as a turnover resulted in a Ochs 3-pointer and put the Cougars ahead for the first time, 18-16. Pfaff later scored five in a row for Cathedral and put them up 23-20.
Other than a tie at 26-26, CM/C would continue to hold the lead, up 33-29 with 2:53 left. Schwarz cut it to 33-31 on two free throws, then the Cougars turned the ball over, leading to a short toss from Mohr to knot it at 33-33.
But with :55 remaining, Ochs found an open shot from behind the arc and drained it to give CM/C a 36-33 lead. Cathedral then turned the ball over, fouled Ochs twice, then watched as she hit all four free throws to put the game out of reach.
Lund finished with 11 for the Cougars and Mohr paced the Greyhounds with 12. Cathedral ends their season with a 14-10 mark, while CM/C heads to Mankato West to face Minnesota Valley Lutheran at 6 p.m. Thursday night.