Girls Basketball: Wingers drop section showdown
NORTHFIELD — In round one, defense was the name of the game between Red Wing and Northfield. The two teams were knotted up at halftime, 19-19, until the Raiders were able to break free for a 46-45 victory.
In Thursday's rematch, offense owned the narrative around both teams in the Class AAA top 10. Third-ranked Northfield couldn't miss, and eighth-ranked Red Wing couldn't make a bucket.
The Raiders sprinted out to a 32-17 halftime lead and held the Wingers to 26 percent shooting in a 63-46 Big Nine Conference and Section 1AAA victory.
"I give Northfield a lot of credit tonight. They played really well," said Red Wing head coach Jesse Nelson. "I didn't think we played bad, I just think we need to execute a little better."
The first five minutes of the game looked much like the first game back on Nov. 30 as Red Wing had a 10-9 lead at the 13-minute mark after a Lindsay Reps layup.
Then, the Raiders became unstoppable in the paint, going on a 21-7 run to end the first half. Providing much of the first-half fireworks for Northfield was Grace Touchette, who scored 16 of her team-high 20 points before halftime.
Beyond Touchette's night, Northfield used its height advantage to get 12 points from Rachel Kelly and six from Annika Hoff. Nine different players scored for the Raiders (13-2, 12-0 Big Nine) on Thursday as they build as high as a 26-point lead.
"They made shots and played good defense," said Red Wing senior guard Tayzha Buck. "We just have to figure out a different game plan next time and try to do different things to get more points on the board."
While the team struggled to find its flow, Buck put together a strong effort for the Wingers with 26 points, six rebounds and two steals. Behind her was Lindsay Reps with 11 points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals. Hannah Rodgers added six rebounds to go with four points.
"This is the best game I've ever seen Tayzha play," Nelson said. "She battled and competed. ... We just got to get her some help and execute. We had shots in both halves that we have to be able to knock down and make. Against these teams that are a little bit faster and longer, we have to be able to make shots and be ready to shoot."
Nelson added, "We're a better team because of this week because we played good teams. Now we know how we have to play. We don't like losing, but we're better now than we were."
On Tuesday, Jan. 23, Red Wing (11-3, 8-3 Big Nine) will try to get back in the win column when Winona comes to town in a Big Nine/Section 1AAA showdown.
Rochester Mayo 53, Red Wing 37
Rochester Mayo put an end to Red Wing's eight-game win streak on Tuesday as the Spartans limited the Wingers to 14 percent shooting in a 53-37 Big Nine Conference win in Rochester.
Tayzha Buck and Lindsay Reps both finished in double figures for Red Wing with 15 and 13 points, respectively. Reps had seven steals and six rebounds while Buck hauled in four rebounds.
Mayo's Hallie Olson had a game-high 17 points, followed by 10 from teammate Jessica Kunkel.