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AUSTIN EDITION Riverland women lose pair

Lady Devils compete in Mesabi Tournament

VIRGINIA, Minn. -- The basketball season got off to a rough start for the Riverland women with a couple of lopsided losses at the Mesabi Tournament over the weekend.

In the opening game on Friday afternoon, the Riverland women lost to Rainy River 85-54. Things didn't get much better on Saturday for the Lady Devils with a 74-45 loss to host Mesabi.

"We got beaten badly and were less than competitive in the two games," Riverland coach Suzy Hebrink said. "Both teams played great man-to-man defense and that's something a lot of our kids haven't seen. I knew the defensive pressure would be tough and in high school our girls saw a lot of zone, so that man-to-man took us out of our offense."

The Riverland women stayed close for most of the first half against Rainy River, until the ball rolled away them. Rainy River closed the first half on a 7-0 run and that set the stage for a blowout in the second half.

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Jami Muir led the way for the winners with a game-high 22 points. April Crews led the Lady Devils with 13 points in the loss.

"They came out strong in the second half and ran away from us," Hebrink said. "Muir was 9-of-10 from the field and we couldn't stay with them in the second half."

Foul trouble plagued the Riverland women in their game on Saturday against Mesabi. Caitlin Jurgensen and Crews both fouled out of this contest.

"Caitlin only played 22 minutes in the second game, after fouling out early in the second half," Hebrink said. "Losing our top scorers certainly hurt. We need to play tougher defense for 40 minutes and get far more shots. Taking only 40-50 shots won't win us many games. The defense was pretty good, but when the shots didn't fall it hurt us in the transition game."

Amy Eiken was 9-of-11 from the free throw line against Mesabi and led Riverland in scoring with 14 points. Nickole Stier grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds.

Riverland women (0-2) play St. Katherine's junior varsity on Friday at 2 p.m. and then Western Wisconsin Technical Institute on Saturday at the Rochester Tournament.

Friday

RAINY RIVER (85)

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Jami Muir 22, Nicole Kruger 6, Randi Cool 5, Becca Denny 10, Madonna Carothers 16, Chevon Stennis 2, Melissa Hamm 2, Alyssa Blum 10, Kenetha Wooten 8, Ashley Lubers 4.

RIVERLAND (54)

April Crews 13, Amy Eiken 8, Krystle Garness 6, Nickole Stier 9, Caitlin Jurgensen 11, Heather Schultz 7.

Halftime score: RR 39, Riverland 21.

Three-point goals : RR 5-17 (Carothers 4, Muir); Riverland 4-12 (Jurgensen 2, Crews, Eiken).

Rebounds: RR 45 (Muir 7, Denny 7); Riverland 34 (Stier 10).

Free throws -- RR 8-10. Riverland 18-27.

Fouled out -- RR, Lubers.

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SATURDAY

RIVERLAND (45)

April Crews 6, Amy Eiken 14, Krstyal Garness 8, Nickloe Stier 8, Caitlin Jurgensen 4, Heather Schultz 5.

MESABI (74)

Brooke Walker 12, Nicole Switzer 5, Alyssa Holst 8, Shamekia Harrel 7, Heather Santee 8, Chanel Pfutzenreuter 5, Liz Sweitzer 8, Jackie Goms 2, Brittany Nelson 19.

Halftime score: Mesabi 33, Riverland 24.

Three-point goals : Riverland 2-11 (Eiken, Schultz); Mesabi 3-12 (Nelson, Harrel, Walker).

Rebounds: Riverland 29 (Stier 14); Mesabi 40 (Holst 8).

Free throws -- Riverland 19-27. Mesabi 11-24

Fouled out -- Riverland: Jurgensen, Crews.

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