Girls Basketball: Verndale pulls away from Eagles late
Both basketball teams from New York Mills have had their share of struggles, but both teams sport a player that can light up the hoop.
Senior Adam Snelgrove scored 37 points in an overtime loss to Pillager Tuesday night and his feat was matched by freshman Ellie Rutten, who also scored 37 in a 71-57 loss at Verndale.
"We had a big game out of Ellie," Eagles' Head Coach JJ Weller said.
Surprisingly, Rutten's 37 was not a game high. Verndale's Theresa Moenkedick poured in 40 to lead all scorers.
"It seemed no matter what defense we had, she was able to find openings and hit her shots, and if we had a turnover--she was there for an easy layup."
The game was nip and tuck in the first half with Verndale going to the break with a one-point lead, 36-35.
"In the first half we were able to have some early success breaking their press and getting good looks on the offensive end."
This is good news for the upstart Eagles, as ball handling has been a downfall in more than one game this season.
NY Mills started the game off with an early lead and scored consistently.
"It seemed like we would make two or three consecutive mistakes that Verndale would quickly capitalize on to get easy scores and we couldn't pull away with any big leads."
The second half began much as the first with both teams trading baskets until Verndale started a late push holding a six-point advantage that kept growing.
"We were forced to try some new things defensively to get the ball back for a score, but it didn't work out for us and Verndale was able to capitalize for some easy layups."
The Eagles drop to 1-9 on the season and 1-3 in Park Region Conference play. Verndale is tied with the Eagles in the conference at 1-3 and are 4-6 overall.
"We've been seeing some good things with how we've been doing against full-court pressure and we definitely improved tonight with our defensive rebounding and not allowing second chance points. We still need much work with our passing, mental errors, and free throw shooting. If can improve those things, we should see lots of improvement and be playing better basketball in the second half of this year."
VER 36-35 71
NYM 35-22 57
Team statistics: (2pt, 3pt, FT)
VER 27/60, 1/5, 12/17
NYM 22/51, 2/6, 7/15
Tori Kempenich --3 pts, 1 reb, 3 ast, 1 stl, 2 blks
Kristin Kane --3 pts, 6 reb, 3 ast, 1 blk
Jenna Esala --2 pts, 1 reb
Shelsey Honer --2 pts, 1 stl
Amber Barvels --2 pts, 7 reb
Abbe Hendrickx --8 pts, 7 reb, 2 ast
Ellie Rutten --37 pts, 16 reb, 1 ast, 3 stls, 2 blks