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Red Wing’s McKenzie Muelken (44) goes for a runner as Waseca’s Aubrey Highum (21) and Katie Tlusty (24) close in on defense Friday in Red Wing. (Republican Eagle photo by Joe Brown)

Girls Basketball: Red Wing shooters go ice cold in loss

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Red Wing Minnesota 2760 North Service Drive / P.O. Box 15 55066

As Red Wing and Waseca traded the lead in the second half Friday, the Wingers’ coaches said they would call a timeout once the team made a field goal.

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Problem was, that field goal just would not go down for Red Wing in the second half.

“It felt like there was an hour-long lid on the basket,” said senior guard Kara Norvet.

That analogy wasn’t entirely far-fetched as the Wingers went 15 minutes, 8 seconds without a bucket during the final 18 minutes as Red Wing lost 47-46 to Waseca in the second game of the Tip-Off Tournament at Red Wing High School. 

After shooting 13 of 25 in the first half, the Wingers’ shooters went ice cold, going 4 of 30 after halftime.

“We should have been up 10, 15 points if we would have shot even poorly,” said Red Wing head coach Dave Muelken. “We got a lot of work to do.”

Early on, Red Wing had little problem weaving through the Bluejays’ defense on the way to a 30-24 halftime lead. Going hard on the transition game, the Wingers shot 52 percent, led by McKenzie Muelken, who had 12 of her 16 points in the first half.

“We came out and we were ready for a while,” said Norvet, who finished the game with 18 points, six rebounds and five assists, “and we ran the ball well.”

Then after halftime, seemingly every shot that went in during the first 18 minutes refused to tickle the twine in the second. 

“We talked on the bench, and we asked how do we get them better shots?” Dave Muelken said. “There were open 3-pointers missed, and we probably missed 15 layups.”

One of the biggest killers Friday was free throws as Red Wing was 0-for-3 in the front end of 1-and-1s.

Waseca was finally able to take the lead for good with 6:18 remaining when Aubrey Highum hit a 3-pointer in the corner to make it a 39-37 Bluejay advantage.

With Waseca up 45-41, Red Wing made it a two-point game when McKenzie Muelken hit a layup with 12.3 seconds remaining. It was the Wingers’ first field goal since Norvet hit a 3-pointer with 15:22 left in the game.

“That 15 minutes is something I’d like to have back,” Norvet said.

Mikayla Rolling, who had a game-high 20 points, iced the game for Waseca with a pair of free throws with 7.1 seconds left.

Red Wing (0-1) takes on River Falls at 1 p.m. today in the consolation championship of the Tip-Off Tournament.

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