December 28, 2022 at 5:34 p.m.

Streeters earn big-time win over Barnesville

Streeters earn big-time win over Barnesville
Streeters earn big-time win over Barnesville

By Evan Michealson- | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

Sauk Centre girls basketball impresses in Perham

When the Sauk Centre Streeters girls basketball team entered Perham High School for the annual Grand8 Holiday Tournament, emotions were high.

The squad possessed heavy hearts, as key defensive contributor and starter Torry Kerfeld did not travel with the team due to the passing of her mother. Its first opponent, the Barnesville Trojans, defeated Sauk Centre in the same tournament a year ago, and a fired-up Sauk Centre squad sought a signature win in a tough environment.

The Streeters did just that, riding a magnificent defensive performance and a balanced display of 3-point shooting to grab an impressive 58-48 win over the Trojans Dec. 27 in Perham.

“It was hard-fought,” said Scott Bergman, head coach. “Not pretty at times, but a good win.”

The first nine minutes of the game lacked any sort of offense from either team off the back of turnover bugs from each team and strong contests defensively. Six minutes into the close contest, the score sat at 3-2 in favor of Sauk Centre.

“We played good defense and limited them to one contested shot,” Bergman said.

Eventually, after failing to get into a rhythm early, Sauk Centre took aim from long distance and quickly found success. Avery Rieland broke a 3-3 tie with her first of two 3-pointers on the afternoon, Cierra Kortan buried a dagger three from way past the 3-point line and Emily Peters hit a clutch 3-pointer in the final minute of the first half to help the Streeters gain separation. Sauk Centre led 21-14 at the halftime break.

“Those girls knocking down threes was big,” Bergman said. “That will give them more and more confidence.”

With the tournament featuring a shot clock, an uncommon feature for many high school teams, the offenses faced an additional obstacle. However, in the words of its coach, the Streeters team loves playing with the shot clock, and the results showed in the second half. The team immediately returned from the intermission and moved the ball around the halfcourt before Maddy Schuster knocked down yet another three. After Kortan swished in a pullup perimeter shot, Sauk Centre had its largest lead of the big-time bout, 13.

“We should be an effective inside-out team,” Bergman said. “(It was) more out today, but that will change.”

The Trojans never relented, pulling to within five at 32-27 and to within four at 38-34, but Sauk Centre continued to push the pace. Heidi Lieser connected on a long-range attempt and a pair of free throws, posts Tory Jennissen and Jenna Gapinski-Vogt grabbed boards and drew fouls in the paint and Kortan, who led the Streeters with 22 points, scored 11 points in a six-minute span.

“Cierra was tough in the last 10 minutes or so,” Bergman said.

Even as Barnesville applied a full-court press with hopes of slowing Sauk Centre down, the Streeters avoided making turnovers in critical moments and prevented the Trojans from getting offensive rebounds with a determined resolve on the glass, outrebounding its opponents 46-22.

“I thought we handled their pressure well,” Bergman said.

The Streeters improved to 6-1 on the season and continued its Grand8 appearance against Perham Dec. 28. Sauk Centre will host Section 6AA foe Milaca at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 3, at Sauk Centre High School in Sauk Centre.

BARN 14 34 48

SC 21 37 58

Kortan 22 (9R), Jennissen 8 (12R, 3B), Gapinski-Vogt 7 (11R), Lieser 6 (5R, 5A), Rieland 6 (5R), Peters 6 and Schuster 3 (4A).


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