Spartans get redemption against Tigers

In the first quarter of Monday’s home game with the Exira-EHK Spartans trailing 4-3, Freshman Riley Miller passed the ball to Senior Hannah Nelson who went for a layup, putting the Spartans up 5-4 that started an 11-2 run and lead to a 66-53 victory.

“I think all of us are really proud,” said Freshman Taryn Petersen. “Our girls played really well today. What we had to do was stop Charlie Pryor because she’s a great player.”

During the Spartans 11-2 run in the first quarter, Taryn Petersen contributed to a large chunk of the offense making 3-pointers, and adding some free throws helping the Spartans take a 14-6 lead into the second quarter.

Pryor got the Tigers right back in the game with a 3-pointer cutting the Spartans lead to five points. Nelson was fouled soon after where she made both free throws, but the Tigers continued to claw back at the Spartan defense getting back-to-back 3-pointers from Sophomore Taylor Hoefer, putting them down 19-16 and forcing Spartan head coach Tom Petersen to use a timeout.

When play resumed, the Spartans offense started to get into a rhythm with a 3-pointer from Taryn Petersen and free throws from Junior Harlee Fahn, taking a 14-point lead into halftime.

“You just got to keep playing,” said Tom Petersen. “The only thing I stressed all game long was defense, and it was on the scouting report. We wanted to make sure we were physical, finish possessions, and play defense.”

Pryor opened the third quarter with two mid-range shots, cutting the Spartan lead to 10 points, forcing Petersen to call a timeout.

When play resumed, Sophomore Spartan Jaelynn Petersen scored the next three buckets for her team, but the Tigers had answers each time with the game still being a 10-point deficit. Senior Tiger Nicole Hoefer made free throws chipping away at the Spartan lead, but following that, Nelson scored the next three of four baskets for the Spartans, with a layup from Junior Mayne Jorgensen.

“I think that Hannah Nelson probably had her best game that she’s had in her entire high school career,” said Tom Petersen. “She played with a lot of heart. Kudos to Mayne Jorgensen, her defense on Pryor, she did an outstanding job of staying with her as much as she possibly could.”

The fourth quarter opened with Jaelynn Petersen scoring, but the Tigers responded back with a 3-point shot from Senior Amanda Newton, making it a 15-point game. Buckets were exchanged by both team, until the Tigers went on a 10-4 run with eight of those points coming from Pryor, to put her team down by 12.

“As a coach on the opposite side, those are the girls that keep me up at night,” Petersen said of Pryor. “She’s a special player, and always has been since she was a freshman. She’s one of the best players in our conference, if not the best.”

Sophomore Spartan Kadence Sporrer added one more mid-range shot, followed by a 3-pointer from Nicole Hoefer, but the Spartans won, after dropping their season opener by eight points to Woodbine Nov. 28.

“I think our girls have been playing some pretty good basketball as of late,” said Tom Petersen. “It was a great team effort. The girls, this is something they’ve been working hard for. Just overall, I’m proud of the kids.”

The Spartans are back in action Tuesday on the road at 6 p.m. against the 0-15 Paton-Churdan Rockets. The Rockets are led by Alivya Smith averaging 7.9 points and 5.9 rebounds per game, along with Ella Tasler averaging 1.8 assists per game.

“We need to play how we’re capable of,” said Taryn Petersen. “Don’t play down at their level, and play at ours.”

 
 

 

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