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Girls basketball: Battlers defeat Eagles with big second half

Battle Lake took a tight three-game lead at halftime and fired up a big second half outscoring New York Mills 30-12 en route to a 53-32 Section 6A victory in Battle Lake.

"We've started our last few games out really well, and this one was no different," Eagles Head Coach JJ Weller said. "We had an early lead due to some good passes, shots, and running the floor. We were playing up-tempo and with confidence and things were working for us."

The game was back and forth in the first half. While The Eagles spread scoring around in the first half, Battle Lake used the outside shooting of Sam VanErp and inside points from Nicole Rilla to keep pace.

Rilla had 11 points in the first half, a game total of 21, while VanErp nailed two three-point baskets on the way to eight first half points and a game total of 11.

New York Mills scored 21 points in the game--so did Rilla and VanErp.

Ellie Rutten led New York Mills with 14 points, 10 in the first half. NY Mills got buckets from six different shooters in the first half, but no other Eagle reached double digits in scoring.

Abbe Hendrickx scored six points; Jenna Esala had five.

"In the second half, we came out flat," Weller said. "Offensively, we didn't work the ball around well to get good looks at the basket. Defensively, we seemed out of sorts about how to stop their attack and allowed too many easy, open looks for Battle Lake. We also got into a bit of foul trouble, which helped Battle Lake get to the line."

NY Mills falls to 1-5 on the season and have lost four straight with #3-ranked Parkers Prairie coming to the Sports Center Gym Thursday, Dec. 22 for a 7:45 p.m. tip. NY Mills is 0-2 in Section 6 play.

Battle Lake evens their section record at 3-3. They are 3-4 overall.

"We played really well in stretches and suffered in other stretches," said Weller. "I know we can compete and beat teams. Right now our main focus needs to be playing complete games, being aggressive, and having enough confidence with the ball so we can recognize situations and know how to attack our opponents."

Eagle results

Wadena-Deer Creek at New York Mills, Friday, December 2.

Battlers 23 30 53

Eagles 20 12 32

Scoring stats (2-3-fta-ftm-pts) --NYM: Tori Kempenich 1-0-0-0-2; Lacey Guck 1-0-0-0-2; Jenna Esala 1-1-0-0-5; Abbe Hendrickx 1-0-5-4-6; Ellie Rutten 6-0-4-2-14. Team: 11-1-11-7-32.

BL: Carly VanWatermulen 3-0-3-0-6; Nicole Rilla 10-0-1-1-21; Emily Marso 2-0-0-0-4; Sam VanErp 1-2-4-3-11; Joanna Rogness 2-0-3-1-5; N/A 2-0-3-2-6. Team: 18-2-15-7-53.

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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