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Girls Basketball: Wingers have no answer for Rochester Lourdes

ROCHESTER – At the midway point of the first half, Rochester Lourdes took its second lead of the game against Red Wing. It would be more than eight minutes into the second half before the Wingers would again gain an advantage.

But it would not hold as the Wingers scored just nine points in the last 8 minutes, 39 seconds, and dropped their first-round Rochester Rotary Tournament game against the Eagles, 63-51.

“We quit competing. We didn’t box out. Second shots killed us, third shots (too),” said Red Wing head coach Dave Muelken of the Wingers second-half woes. “Our inability to rebound tonight was very evident … I don’t know. I don’t have the answers. I wish I did.”

The first question to Red Wing was if the team could figure out a way to play defense without committing a foul. Lourdes quickly got the Wingers into the bonus in the first half, hitting 11 free throws in the first 18 minutes. Red Wing never really figured out how to avoid the whistle, which led to the Eagles taking a 32-27 halftime lead.

“(The referees) were just calling everything, and that’s how they called the game. We need to adjust to that,” Muelken said. “We didn’t move our feet, we were reaching in and fouling kids that there was no reason for us to foul. All we’ve got to do is keep them in front of us and we’d be fine. We got so impatient that we started reaching. I think they thought they were just going to roll them over maybe and get steals and shoot layups. I don’t know. I don’t know. It wasn’t a good start. And it wasn’t a good finish.”

The Wingers started the second half on a 13-4 run to take a 40-36 lead. Defensively, Red Wing was playing better, and, offensively, the Wingers got to the paint and the free-throw line. But after a McKenzie Cota trip to the stripe, the Eagles rattled off seven-straight points, taking the lead for good as Red Wing again lost itself in its first-half issues.

“We talked about why we got so impatient all of a sudden,” Muelken said. “Nineteen turnovers? We maybe should have had six, three a half, maybe, against that kind of lack of pressure. (It was) probably 19 unforced errors. I’d like to tell you why, (but) I got nothing.”

And each time the Wingers committed a foul or gave the ball back to the Eagles without a shot, the more likely it seemed the same thing would happen the next time down the floor.

“I’d like think you let somebody hang around, and they get confidence. But, heck, they were more than hanging around, they were leading. We just started pressing, and foul trouble doesn’t help. But it shouldn’t have mattered,” Muelken said.

McKenzie Muelken led the Wingers with 17 points and three steals. McKayla Muelken added nine points and Cota added eight points. Hailey Kuhl had a team-high seven rebounds, adding six points.

Red Wing (4-3) will next face Rochester Century (3-5) at 3:45 p.m. Friday for a spot in the tournament’s fifth-place game. 

Kyle Stevens
Kyle Stevens is a sports reporter for the Red Wing Republican Eagle. Previously, Kyle worked at the Owatonna People’s Press, as well as KWLM and KLFN in Willmar. You can contact Kyle by phone at (651) 301-7879, via e-mail at, and follow him on Twitter @RE_KStevens.
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