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Red Wing's Hailey Kuhl (4) goes up for a fastbreak layup during the first half of Tuesday's Missota Conference game against Holy Angels in Red Wing. (Republican Eagle photo by Joe Brown)

Girls Basketball: Wingers' offense struggles in home loss

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Sometimes, a team’s troubles are as simple as putting the ball through the hoop.

In Tuesday’s Missota Conference matchup, Red Wing stayed within single digits against visiting Academy of Holy Angels, trailing 30-28 at halftime. And both team’s offenses struggled in the second half, but the Stars got to the line and scored just enough to leave Sonju Gymnasium with a 60-51 victory.

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Dropping its seventh straight game, the Wingers shot 29 percent from the field (17-for-58), including 22 percent from beyond the arc (4-for-18).

“The numbers don’t lie,” Red Wing head coach Dave Muelken said about the team’s shooting woes.

He continued, “Maybe we need to do less executing in practice, so to speak, and just flat-out do more shooting: competitive shooting, game-speed shooting. Just more shooting.”

Early in the game, Red Wing gave itself plenty of opportunities to get to the hoop, holding the lead six separate times in the first half. But after a Maddie Faas putback put Red Wing up 19-17 with 9 minutes, 18 seconds remaining before halftime, the Stars scored six straight points go to up 23-19 and never trailed again.

Dave Muelken couldn’t fault the effort of his players, highlighted by 15 offensive rebounds. Faas grabbed nine rebounds, and Hailey Kuhl finished the game with five rebounds and three assists.

“Kenzie Cota flew around, Hailey Kuhl played her heart out, and Maddie Faas really competed,” Dave Muelken said. “We got great production from those three from an effort standpoint.”

All that was missing was the field goals.

As Red Wing struggled to get a shot to drop in the second half, Holy Angels jumped out to an 11-4 run to go up 41-32. Kara Norvet broke that run with a layup, only to see the offense fail to sustain the momentum as the Wingers went through the next 5:43 without a field goal.

The Stars’ defense did Red Wing no favors, forcing the Wingers into 22 turnovers.

“Our margin of error is just so little,” Dave Muelken said. “We get good looks. We can’t turn the ball over and we have to rebound, but we get good looks.”

Holy Angels’ offense excelled in the second half at the free-throw line. Getting into the bonus with over 10 minutes left in the game, the Stars were 14 of 21 from the stripe in the second half, with Laura Bagwell-Katalinich going 7-for-10 from the line in that stretch. Twelve of her 16 points came from the charity stripe.

Kate Banovetz led Holy Angles with 17 points, and Kara Mae Caron added nine in the victory.

Red Wing got a game-high 20 points from McKenzie Muelken, while Norvet added eight points and four boards, and McKayla “Bubba” Muelken chipped in with eight points and seven rebounds.

Looking for its first win in nearly a month, Red Wing (6-13, 2-7 Missota) hits the road Thursday for a non-conference game against Byron.

“Thursday night we go to Byron, and we’ll see what we can do there,” Dave Muelken said. “It’s all we can do at this point.”

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Joe Brown
Joe Brown is the sports editor for the Red Wing Republican Eagle. Previously, he worked at the Marshall Independent and the St. Cloud Times. For updates on local sports, follow Joe on Twitter at @RE_JBrown.
(651) 301-7878
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