Strong 2nd half leads Tigers to 2A playoff win over Wolverines

Staff photo by Ari Selvey Springfield’s Emma Hauger drives to the hoop during a Section 2A, South Subsection Girls Basketball Tournament game against Mountain Lake Area/Comfrey Monday at Springfield High School.

SPRINGFIELD — A late first-half push by No. 3-seeded Springfield gave it a double-digit lead over sixth-seeded Mountain Lake Area/Comfrey Monday in a Section 2A, South Subsection Girls Basketball Tournament game.

Springfield took that lead all the way to the end of the game, coming away with a 75-58 win. Springfield improves to 15-11 and advances to play No. 2-seeded Martin County West at 7:45 p.m. Thursday at St. Peter High School.

“The first part of the game, we were real hesitant trying to drive to the basket,” Springfield head coach Mike Kelly said. “We were dribbling too much on the perimeter and not looking to score. That’s to Mountain Lake’s advantage, because they’re quicker than we are.

“After a timeout, I told them, ‘Our advantage is in the post area. We need to get the ball inside.’ The last five, six minutes of that first half I think they finally caught on to what they should be doing, and that’s when we were able to start building a lead. Then we were rebounding the ball better on their end, because they were shooting a lot of 3s with a lot of long rebounds. So that helped us too where we were able to get a few fast breaks in between that really opened up the scoring a little bit.”

Brooklyn Sturm led the Tigers with 26 points, 15 rebounds and four steals, while Marissa Pabst had 14 points and eight rebounds and Emma Hauger had 13 points. Jasmine Novotny added 11 points and four rebounds while Jada Reese had 9 points and six rebounds.

Hauger said the team really found their flow by relying on their strengths in the second half.

“I feel like the first half we really weren’t playing our game,” she said. “We were just standing on offense and not moving or screening for each other, and we had to use our advantage, play down low and pass it to our post, because we have hight advantage down there. We got that through our head and started to play like we could.”

Reagan Pedersen led the Wolverines with 17 points, while Julia Brinkman had 16 points.

The game was at a 14-14 tie when Pabst made a shot from the post, sparking a 13-3 run by the Tigers to put them up 27-17. Brinkman hit a layup and Pedersen hit a pair of free throws to cut the lead to 6, but Sturm hit a stepback 3-pointer that rattled around the rim before dropping in to give the Tigers a 30-21 lead going into half.

Springfield stayed hot in the second half, going up by as much as 57-39 on a transition layup by Novotny. Springfield will have to hope it stays hot as they take on MCW, who has a 19-6 record after a 58-33 win over No. 7-seeded United South Central on Monday.

Hauger knows what the game plan is for the game, saying that slowing down the Mustangs’ top player is a must.

“We’re going to have to stop Emily Anderson,” Hauger said. “She’s a good player. She’s got some height, and I feel like their team goes around her. We have to bring it on defense, play our game and I think we can come out on top if we play well.”


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