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NYM Girls Basketball: Lady Eagles back on track

Betsy Helmeke hits a 3-pointer Monday night with a pair of Verndale defenders putting the pressure on. Kevin Cederstrom/EOT Illustrated

John George

After suffering their first loss of the season Friday night, the Lady Eagles bounced back in a big way Monday at the Sports Center with a 76-21 win over Verndale.

New York Mills set the tempo in the first half with defensive pressure that they turned into points at the other end of the court. By halftime, they already had a 51-12 lead.

For the game, Mills' pressure resulted in 26 steals, with Betsy Helmeke, Alicia Boe and Hannah Rutten all collecting five thefts.

The Eagles also dominated in the paint. Mills finished with 14 blocked shots, and they outrebounded Verndale 40-19.

Rutten had a double-double for NYM, scoring 24 points to go with 12 rebounds, four blocked shots and three assists. Boe ended with 20 points with five boards and four assists.

Sam Welter was also in double figures, finishing with 10 points with six rebounds, three steals, five blocked shots and five pass deflection's.

Verndale finished the game shooting 18 percent from the field (9-for-51), and they were only 3-for-12 from the free throw line.

It was the Eagles sixth straight win over Verndale.

Streak ends

Monday's win against Verndale was important for the Eagles to get back on track, after they suffered their first loss of the season at Bertha-Hewitt Friday night, 65-61.

"Turnovers late in the game hurt us," said Mills head coach Dave Paavola. "We didn't take care of the ball and gave them some easy baskets."

Turnovers were a key, as Mills turned the ball over 26 times, while B-H handled the ball better with only 16 turnovers.

The two team's played evenly in the second half, but New York Mills couldn't make-up the four-point deficit they took into halftime, 33-29. While the Eagles had a slight advantage in 3-point shooting (5-for-17 shooting, compared to 2-for-16 for B-H), the Bears were much better inside the arc. B-H was 24-for-51 on 2-point field goals (47 percent), while Mills was just 18-for-47 (38 percent).

Rutten finished with 22 points and nine boards. Boe added 20 points, five rebounds and four assists.

The loss ended New York Mills 13-game winning streak to start the season.

"You don't want to lose a conference game," Paavola said. "But maybe it does take some pressure off (of going undefeated)."

The Mills girls beat then No. 5 ranked B-H on Jan. 15, 61-45. The Lady Bears are currently ranked No. 6, while New York Mills comes in at No. 8 in Class A.


The girls will be part of back-to-back doubleheaders with the boys this week. On Feb. 5, the Eagles will host Sebeka.

At 5:30 p.m., the C-Squad girls will play in the high school gym, while the J.V. boys will play in the Sports Center. The varsity boys will play in the Sports Center at 6:30 p.m., while the J.V. girls play in the high school gym. The varsity girls will play at 8 p.m. in the Sports Center.

The Lady Eagles split with Sebeka last year. The Trojans will be looking to move into a tie for first place with a win.

On Feb. 6, the New York Mills boys and girls will host Section 6A rival Waubun.

The J.V. boys will play in the high school gym and the J.V. girls will play in the Sports Center at 12 p.m. The varsity girls will take the Sports Center court at 1 p.m., with the varsity boys to follow at 2:30 p.m.

The Lady Eagles blew out Waubun (10-4) last year, 52-18.

On Feb. 9, Mills will hit the road to take on another section foe, Ulen-Hitterdal (2-15). The Eagles have won their last two against U-H, including a 78-46 victory last year.

Friday, January 29

Bertha-Hewitt 65, New York Mills 61

NY Mills 29-32--61

B-H 33-32--65

Eagles--Hannah Rutten 22, Alicia Boe 20, Brittnie Menze 8, Kendra McCall 6, Sam Welter 5.

Bears--Kopphahn 14, A. Stokes 13, K. Stokes 13, Finck 9, VanDehuevel 8, Tindal 6, Kimber 2.

2-pointers--NYM 18/47, BH 24/51; 3-pointers--NYM 5/17, BH 2/16; Free Throws--NYM 10/18, BH 11/17; Rebounds--NYM 26 (Rutten 9), BH 25; Assists--NYM 11 (Boe 4); Steals--NYM 12 (Helmeke 4), BH 17; Turnovers--NYM 25, BH 16; Team Fouls--NYM 15, BH 17.

Monday, Febuary 1

New York Mills 76, Verndale 21

Verndale 12- 9--21

NY Mills 51-25--76

Eagles--Rutten 24, Boe 22, Welter 10, McCall 7, Menze 6, Betsy Helmeke 3, Maggie Carlson 3, Terie Rehm 1.

Pirates--Wendt 8, Johnson 7, Finck 2, Schlutner 2, Swenson 2.

2-pointers--NYM 28/51, V 9/46; 3-pointers--NYM 5/19, V 0/5; Free Throws--NYM 5/12, V 3/12; Rebounds--NYM 40 (Rutten 12), V 15; Assists--NYM 21 (Helmeke, Boe 4); Steals--NYM 26 (Helmeke, Boe, Rutten 5), BH 8; Turnovers--NYM 18, V 26; Team Fouls--NYM 14, V 12.

Park Region Conf. All

#6-A Bertha-Hewitt 8-1 15-1

#8-A NY Mills 7-1 14-1

Sebeka 6-1 16-2

Pillager 4-4 10-8

Menahga 2-6 5-13

Verndale 1-8 3-14

Henning 1-8 2-15