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Rebel 1A West bb aust 2-27 DONE

SUGHED: Season comes to an end for Rebels girls

By Scott A. Kolb

skolb@postbulletin.com

Faribault Bethlehem Academy had too many offensive weapons for the Southland girls in Monday night’s Section 1A, West Subsection tournament game.

The third-seeded Bethlehem Academy Cardinals had four players in double figures and overpowered the sixth-seeded Southland Rebels 79-66 at the Packer Gym in Austin.

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Although the season came to an end for the Rebels with the loss, they played competitively in their final game. Chelsey Smith led the way with 21 points and Ashley Holdgrafer added a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

"We gave them a game and our girls played hard," Southland coach Dave Decker said. "They hurt us early in transition and then we had to battle back from a deficit. We got it close early in the second half, but couldn’t catch them. They had too many shooters."

The main guns for the Cardinals were Jenna Sheridan and Nicole Pothen. Sheridan led the offensive attack for FBA with a game-high 23 points. Pothen had 22 points with a dozen in the second half.

Balance was the key for the Cardinals as Brittany DeGrood canned a trio of 3-pointers for a total of 17 on the night. Hope McBain added a dozen, including 10 points in the second half.

"Bethlehem Academy has a nice club," Decker said. "They spread you out and find the open shots. Every time we made a run, they hit a 3-pointer and pulled away."

After a seesaw start to the game, the Cardinals took control midway through the first half with a 10-0 run. The lead reached double figures with eight minutes left in the half.

Maggie May kept the Rebels in the game with a 3-pointer inside the final three minutes. May, one of two seniors on the Southland team, made a pair of treys on the night. Still, there was always an answer as DeGrood fired back with a long ball for the Cardinals.

Trailing by 12 points at halftime, the Rebels had to make their move. Holdgrafer hit a basket and a free throw in the opening minute of the second half and got the deficit back under double-digits. This ignited an 11-4 run for the Rebels in the first four minutes of the second half.

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Donna Neuvirth kept it going with a basket. Neuvirth, the other senior for the Rebels, had six of her eight points in the second half. Lynda Rossow made a pair of free throws and with good defense, the Rebels had closed to within 42-36 with 15:20 left.

"We went back to a zone defense, and ade a little run to open the second half," Decker said. "We got the deficit down there and had a couple of chances to get closer, but then they hit a big shot."

DeGrood proved to be a zone buster with a long trey. Still, the Rebels harassed the Cardinals’ shooters and they didn’t hit a high percentage from beyond the arc. Smith answered with back-to-back baskets and suddenly the Rebels were within five points.

This time it was Sheridan knocking down a big trey and once again the Cardinals pulled away. Smith had 15 points in the second half and she tried to keep the Rebels in the hunt, but it wasn’t enough down the stretch. The FBA lead went back into double-digits and stayed there the rest of the way.

May hit a trey with nine minutes left to make it 60-48. Smith would hit her only 3-pointer with seven minutes left and cut it back to 10, but the Rebels got no closer. Neuvirth and Danielle Irvin added a couple of late treys for the Rebels, but it was too late and the season came to an end.

"We have a young team and a lot of players will be back, but we’ll miss our seniors Donna and Maggie," Decker said. "They were great team leaders and showed the other kids how to play the game. Overall, we put up a good fight in the last game and the girls showed their competitive spirit."

Southland finished the season with a 6-21 record. FBA plays New Life Academy in tonight’s sub-section semifinals at the Mayo Civic Center.

FARIBAULT B.A. 79, SOUTHLAND 66

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SOUTHLAND (66)

Chelsey Smith 21, Donna Neuvirth 8, Ashley Holdgrafer 10, Hilary Johnson 5, Kacey Kilgore 0, Maggie May 7, Lynda Rossow 6, Danielle Irvin 9, Ashlee Waller 0, Brooke Hanson 0.

FARIBAULT BETHLEHEM ACADEMY (79)

Hope McBain 12, Holly Hafemeyer 2, Jenna Sheridan 23, Stephanie Meschke 0, Liz Schlobohm 2, Katie Richie 0, Brittany DeGrood 17, Kim Stadler 0, Nicole Pothen 22, Regan Kriechbaum 0, Mollie Zweber 1.

Halftime score — FBA 41, Southland 29.

Three-pointers — Southland 5-10 (May 2, Smith 1, Irvin 1, Neuvirth 1). FBA 5-15 (DeGrood 3, Pothen 1, Sheridan 1).

Free throws — Southland 15-27, FBA 22-37.

Rebounds — Southland 35 (Holdgrafer 10); FBA 26 (Sheridan 7).

Turnovers — Southland 23, FBA 24.

Fouled out — SOU, Neuvirth.

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