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Girls Basketball: Shorthanded Eagles fall to Verndale

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VERNDALE -- New York Mills center Ellie Rutten had a monster double-double of 25 points and 20 rebounds but a shorthanded Eagles squad lost to Verndale 75-51 Friday in Park Region Conference action.

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Teresa Moenkedick matched Rutten's output with 25 points to lead the Pirates.

The Eagles played without three key contributors - EmaLeigh Roberts, Lydia Irons, and Shelsey Honer, who missed the game due to illness or injury.

"We had new girls that had to step up and make contributions," Eagles Head Coach JJ Weller said. "We came out in the game playing well."

Rutten scored the first eight points for the Eagles and New York Mills held leads in the first half of 19-14 and 25-23 with 3:15 to go to the halftime break.

The Pirates got hot in the final three minutes making a push to a 34-28 advantage at the break.

"They found some openings in our zone and hit three straight shots to give them some momentum. At that point, we kind of went into a funk turning the ball over and not getting good looks for ourselves."

Second half turnovers sunk the Eagles for the first 10 minutes giving Verndale a cushion wide enough to cruise to the victory.

"We need to learn how to slow things down and take care of the ball when things are going against us. When we rush things we make careless mistakes and end up digging ourselves into holes that are hard to get out of and that's what we did tonight."

By the time New York Mills got back on track they matched baskets in the final eight minutes but were unable to close the gap on the scoreboard. The Eagles committed 39 turnovers in the game.

The win for Verndale keeps the Pirates a game back (6-3) of first place Henning (7-2) in the PRC. The Pirates are 13-5 overall. The Eagles fall to 3-6 in conference and 6-9 overall.

Scoring:

NYM 28 25 -- 52

VER 34 41 -- 75

NYM: Rutten 25, M. Roberts 7, L. Rutten 7, Imsande 6, Barvels 4, Kempenich 2.

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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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