NEW ULM - A fire alarm went off in the locker room of the New Ulm Cathedral girls basketball team at halftime Monday night when it played the Truman Bluejays.
Despite taking a 38-21 lead at halftime, the Greyhounds were playing lackluster defense and coach Mary Dengerud wasn't pleased.
The result put a match to a determined effort throughout Cathedral's second half as it outscored Truman 28-8 and topped the Bluejays 66-29.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
New Ulm Cathedral’s Karlee Pfaff drives past a Truman defender on her way to the basket Monday at CHS.
"I told them we're not doing our defense," Dengerud said. "We weren't playing with any intensity. They came out and responded."
While the Greyhounds rolled out to a 9-2 lead, the Bluejays did just enough to hang around for most of the first half. Much of this was due to their ability to get to the foul line, as Truman hit 9-of-10 free throws. Brooke McDonald was essentially Truman's only offense, scoring its first eight points of the game.
The Achilles heel for the Bluejays all night, though, was their inability to keep the ball and watch as Cathedral took advantage of many of those mistakes. The Greyhounds scored 15 points in the opening half off 14 Truman turnovers, getting a three-point play from Karlee Pfaff and a 3-pointer by Leah Krzmarzick after two of them.
Still, it wasn't until Krzmarzick's bucket that Cathedral held as much as a 12-point lead and that was with four minutes remaining in the half. Even after scoring six of the last seven points to make it 38-21 at the break, the Greyhounds looked like they could use an energy boost.
They got it in the second half.
In the first three minutes, the Bluejays were forced into turnovers on their opening six possessions. Lisa Helget scored consecutive baskets for Cathedral, followed by a pair of 3s by Paige Pautzke to move the Greyhounds' lead to 48-21 and the game was pretty much over.
A 3-pointer from Abby Hauser opened the lead further to 52-21 before McDonald got the Bluejays' first points of the half with 11 minutes left in the game. Another Pautzke 3 and a 3 from Kelli Eckstein completely blew the game open.
The Greyhounds scored 12 points off a total of 14 Bluejay miscues, giving them a total of 27 points off turnovers in the game. Cathedral's defense also showed up at the free throw line, with Truman shooting just two in the last stanza.
Pautzke led the Greyhounds with 13 points, with Kristin Mohr scoring 10 and Pfaff adding nine. McDonald paced Truman with 13.
Cathedral hosts Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart at 7:30 p.m. tonight.