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Girls Basketball: Eagles improve to 3-2 with win over Bears

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NEW YORK MILLS -- Despite 37 points from Bertha-Hewitt's senior guard Arei Stokes, the New York Mills girls basketball team improved to 3-2 this season with a 74-64 win over the Bears.

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"This was a fun and exciting game for our girls," Head Coach JJ Weller said. "We played a team, who recently has been struggling, but is a very good squad."

Bertha-Hewitt came into the game 0-5.

Stokes, who has seen varsity time since junior high, did what she wanted on the court.

"We didn't have any answer for her. She was able to drive on our girls and get to the free throw line as well as knock down (shots). Our best bet was to try and make sure no one else hurt us."

The Eagles' defense held the remaining Bear scorers all to single-digits. Amanda Liebershach had nine points in a seesaw game.

Ellie Rutten paced the Eagles in the first half scoring 14 of her 24 points in the first 18 minutes.

Bertha-Hewitt led 38-33 at halftime.

The Bears built a 10-point advantage coming out of the break up 43-33, before a 19-2 Eagle run, led by EmaLeigh Roberts gave the Eagles a big lead at 52-34 with 11 minutes remaining.

Both Roberts and Rutten scored 24 points. Tori Kempenich added 12.

Rutten had a big double-double pulling in 14 rebounds to go with her 24 points. Roberts added six assists.

The Eagles held a considerable advantage from the three-point line shooting 7-22 compared to Bertha-Hewitt's 2-7, resulting in a 15-point swing from downtown.

Bertha battled back to a three-point deficit trailing New York Mills 63-60 with 4:10 left in the game.

"We were able to hold them off with some key shots and improved defense. Overall, I was happy with how we played. We didn't give up even when the game wasn't going our way. We've talked about how we are going to have close games this year and how we have to keep our composure and play through them and that's what we did. Offensively, we moved the ball around better and ended up with 22 assists, which is more than we've had in any other game this year. That means we were working as a team and everyone was contributing.

The Eagles face another winless team in Perham (0-6) tonight, Monday, Dec. 17 at 6 p.m., in New York Mills.

Eagles Results:

B-H 38 26 -- 64

NYM 33 41 -- 74

NYM: Roberts 24, Rutten 24, Kempenich 12, Barvels 6, Honer 6, Irons 2.

B-H: Stokes 37, Liebershach 9, Kapphahn 8, Vanttale 4, R. Stokes 6.

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Robert Williams
Robert has been the Sports Editor for the Focus since 2010 covering multiple state and national championship teams and is a mainstay at state tournaments each season covering the successful, athletic programs of Perham and New York Mills High Schools.
(218) 346-5900 x223
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