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Cougars end Lady Eagles' season

The New York Mills Eagles girls basketball season came to an end at the hands of the Section 6A North top seed Ada-Borup, 65-31.

"We knew going into this game that we were heavy underdogs and that things could get ugly if we didn't come out playing our very best," Head Coach J.J. Weller said.

The Eagles advanced after beating the number nine seed Norman County West, 49-35, at home in the pigtail play-in game, Monday, Feb. 28.

"This is where we wanted to be and I'd rather have had us get beat by 100 from Ada than to have lost our game on Monday," Weller said. "It's always been important that we just do our best and let what happens happen."

Early in the season, the Eagles were susceptible to a full court press. As the season progressed, their backcourt game improved greatly.

"Ada put on probably the toughest man press that we've seen all year," Weller said. "We had trouble bringing the ball up and when we did get it up, we had trouble running an offense with the pressure they put on our girls individually."

That pressure pushed the Cougars to a commanding 41-9 lead at halftime.

"Ada got some easy scores off of steals and we weren't getting any good looks on offense."

Ada-Borup led 29-3 at one point.

"When Ada took off their press we were able to do a few more things offensively--we drove a little bit more and got to the free throw line for some shots."

Defensively, the Eagles switched to a 3-2-zone defense to combat the Cougars' team speed and were able to limit Ada-Borup to one shot per possession and get some defensive rebounds.

In the second half, NY Mills continued with the 3-2 defense and settled down on offense to play a much better second half.

"Once we forgot about the score and who we were playing, we ran our offense better, got some open jump shot looks, and had more success almost matching them point-wise in the second half.

The Cougars outscored the eagles by only a bucket in the second half, 24-22.

"It was a good effort from our girls, we just didn't have what it took to break through their pressure and put us in situations to score. I credit my girls, they did not give up and they stayed positive throughout the whole game, as they have done all season."

Senior Megan Cole, playing in her final game, led the Eagles with seven points. Abbe Hendrickx also scored seven.

EmaLeigh Roberts scored six.

Missy Pyle, the other senior on the squad, had two points.

The Eagles finished the season with a record of 4-22. The future is bright for Eagle girls basketball. Losing only Pyle and Cole, Weller returns a young squad that gained a ton of valuable varsity experience.

Next season, Lacy Guck, Kristin Kane and Jenna Esala will return as three seniors.

Ellie Rutten, only an eighth grader, had an impressive season and will be strong in the paint with Jackie Imsande.

Roberts, a sophomore, can explode offensively and is tenacious on defense.

Tori Kempenich and Abbe Hendrickx, two freshmen, will also contribute.

"They've worked hard and have improved a lot this year and should be proud of the things they've accomplished," Weller said.

H: A-B 41, NYM 9.

Scoring: NYM: Roberts 6, Guck 1, Kane 2, Cole 7, Kempenich 2, Hendrickx 7, Rutten 2, Imsande 4.

Robert Williams

Sports Editor at the Detroit Lakes Tribune. Williams worked prior as the Sports Editor in Perham for the Focus, a Forum Communications newspaper, from 2010-14. 

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