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Girls basketball: Eagles bounce back in a big way

Ellie Rutten drains two of her game-high 19 points leading the Eagles to their first victory of the season. Bob Williams/FOCUS

The New York Mills Eagles girls basketball team (1-1) bounced back from a rough opener to blow out Pillager 60-20 at home Tuesday evening.

"Tonight was a good game for us," Head Coach JJ Weller said. "It was a total team effort."

The Eagles got out to a 27-7 advantage early and took a 23-point advantage into the break up 36-13.

"We did a better job running our offenses and looking for openings against Pillager's defense," said Weller. "We had our heads up and were making passes to who was opening and we took better care of the ball. We also shot the ball better as we set ourselves and crashed the offensive boards harder."

The Eagles put a defensive exhibition on in the second half holding Pillager to just seven points and upping the lead to 40 points by game's end.

"Defensively, I thought we communicated better and made a better effort to box out and only give Pillager one shot on possessions-- those are things that we will need to do this year to have success."

Ellie Rutten and Jenna Esala led NY Mills in scoring with 19 and 17 points. Amber Barvels scored 10. Rutten also had nine rebounds, one away from her first double-double of the year.

Abbe Hendrickx added eight points and blocked three shots.

The Eagles will play their first road game Friday, Dec. 9 at 7:45 p.m. in Henning. The Hornets (2-1) have won two straight after dropping their opener to Underwood.

"While we played well tonight, we still have things that need work," said Weller. "Hopefully, we can continue to improve, work hard, and learn as a team so we can be competitive and have continued success this season. I was happy with the girls' efforts tonight. They deserved this victory."


NYM 36 24 60

Pillager 13 7 20

Individual Stats:

Tori Kempenich--2 pts, 2 reb, 1 ast, 3 steals

Lacey Guck--2 reb, 4 ast, 2 stl

Kristin Kane--4 pts, 2 reb, 3 ast

Jenna Esala--17 pts, 3 reb, 3 ast, 1 stl, 1 blk

Shelsey Honer--1 reb

Amber Barvels--10 pts, 7 reb, 3 stl

Abbe Hendrickx--8 pts, 8 reb, 2 stl, 3 blks

Ellie Rutten--19 pts, 9 reb, 2 ast, 1 stl, 2 blks

Mariel Makinen--1 reb, 1 blk

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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