Schoenrock scores 20, Wagner twins combine for 30 as NRHEG earns fifth place finish
St. Paul – Similar to its first two Class AA state tournament games, the NRHEG girls basketball team was in a one possession game midway through the first quarter.
Then Betsy Schoenrock delivered the block that set the tone for the Panthers and they never looked back.
Four different Panthers reached double digits as NRHEG (27-6) downed the Rochester Lourdes Eagles (22-11) Friday afternoon at the Gangelhoff Center on the campus of Concordia University-St. Paul, earning a fifth place finish at the Class AA state tournament.
“I can’t say enough about this group,” commented NRHEG head coach Onika Peterson. “They work extremely hard, they have a great attitude and they play with a lot of heart which is great to see.”
The opening minutes of the game were similar to Thursday’s contest against Esko. The Panthers quickly jumped out to 13-8 lead after a pair of Marnie Wagner treys from the corner. Wagner, who scored nearly 17 points in each of NRHEG’s tournament games, made all three of her attempts from deep in the first half for 11 points.
The senior finished with 15 points as well as being named to the Class AA All-Tournament team. The lead was short lasted as the Eagles surged back to generate a 20-19 lead late in the half.
Scoring 13 of her 20 points in the first half, the junior’s block midway through the first half shifted momentum into the Panthers favor. Generating a 9-0 run – six points coming for Schoenrock – the Panthers appeared to heat up as Rachel Collins and Kayley Camerer hit back-to-back three-pointers before the half. Collins and Camerer each had their best game of the postseason, scoring 11 and 12 points respectively.
While the Panthers were rolling heading into the half, the Eagles were ice cold.
Adding insult to injury, after missing its final four shots of the first half, Rochester Lourdes missed its first six shots of the second half as the Panthers raced out to a 41-29 lead. For a span of roughly seven minutes between the two halves, nothing seemed to go right for the Eagles and NRHEG would increase the lead to 49-29 after a pair of baskets from Maddie Wagner. Wagner, who reached double digits in the win over Esko, recorded a double-double after scoring 15 points and grabbing 13 rebounds.
After Rochester Lourdes' Megan Hobday was sent to the line, the Eagles started to generate some life. In fact, a 12-3 run that cut the lead to 52-42 was generated from Hobday and Alyssa Ustby. The two combined for 10 points during the span to include a pair of three-pointers from Ustby. Hobday finished with 14 while Ustby finished with a team-high 18 points.
“Even though we were up by 15 or so, it was ‘you still got to be there and got to be focus,” Peterson added. “ It took a felt like it took forever, it’s like ‘ c’mon clock get going' because all they have to do is hit however many threes to be back in the game.”
After a three from Marnie Wagner, the Eagles lapsed back into a cold streak, missing nine of their final 15 attempts. As for the Panthers, the final 16 points of the contest from the line as the Eagles attempted to slow final two minutes of the contest. For the game, NRHEG was able to connect on 22-of-28 for the charity stripe.