Tigers oust Pirates 79-54 in sub-section finals
Freshman Quinn Kircher and sophomore Crystal Pearson poured in 29 points apiece Tuesday as the Browerville Tigers roared past the Verndale Pirates 79-54 in the North Sub-Section 5A championship game on the Wadena-Deer Creek court.
The 61 percent shooting touch that carried the Pirates to a 63-40 playoff victory over Pine River-Backus March 8 in the sub-section semifinal round deserted them in their third season meeting with Browerville. The Pirates ended up hitting on just 19 of their 52 floor shots for a cool 37 percent. The Tigers were 33 of 57 from the field for a strong 58 percent.
The hungry Tigers attacked the hoop in the first half and built a 44-34 halftime advantage. Pearson had 16 points in the assault while Kircher was right behind with 15.
The game was back and forth for the first eight minutes but Browerville's superior shooting finally began to tell. The Tigers went from a 14-all tie with the Pirates to a 33-19 lead with six minutes to play. When the Pirates started hitting their shots just before the half the Tigers managed to answer them.
"We didn't struggle to get shots, we just struggled to get the ball in the basket" Verndale head coach Art Schluttner said.
Sarah Moenkedick was Verndale's top scorer in the first half with nine points. Jordyn and Shania Glenz scored six apiece.
The Tigers kept countering Verndale baskets with their own and a late 10-point spree behind Browerville's two scoring leaders stopped a 10-game winning streak by the Pirates and gave them a final record of 25-4.
"Even down 10 I thought we're going to be okay because we can score," Schluttner said.
Shania Glenz scored 15 points for the Pirates while Jordyn Glenz canned 14. Moenkedick took 12 shots from the field but converted only three and finished the game with nine points.
In the first meeting between the two teams this year the Tigers edged the Pirates 76-72 at Browerville. The second game was also a high-scoring affair with Sarah Moenkedick pouring in 32 points as the Pirates posted a 78-70 win on their home court.
Schluttner sees good teams and good games ahead for both clubs. The Pirates graduate two seniors and the Tigers lose one.
"Both of us have a chance to get to the state tournament," Schluttner said. "Next year should be another good year for us."
K. Kellen 5, Q. Kircher 29, P. Callahan 5, M. Hegseth 3, C.Pearson 29, K. Buchta 8. Totals: 29/4 8-10 79
J. Glenz 14, S. Moenkedick 9, J. Schwanke 2, K. Dailey 4, E. Kern 2, S. Glenz 15, K. Schmitz 8. Totals: 19/4 4-8 54
Browerville 44 35 — 79
Verndale 34 20 — 54