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Girls Basketball: Points prove elusive for Wingers in loss

Red Wing's Kara Norvet (11) looks for a pass as New Prague's Jessica Allar (23) and Rachel Haecherl close in for a double team during Tuesday's Missota Conference game at Sonju Gymnasium. (Republican Eagle photo by Joe Brown)

It was frustrating enough for Red Wing to come off the floor with a 49-36 loss to visiting New Prague on Tuesday. What rubbed the Wingers the wrong way was the amount of points they left on the floor.

As a team, Red Wing shot 32 percent from the floor on Tuesday, with many of those misses coming on wide-open shots and missed layups.

“By our count, we had eight missed layups in the second half, so that’s 16 points on easy, uncontested layups,” Wingers’ head coach Dave Muelken said. “And we missed nine free throws, and some of them are on the front end (of one-and-ones).

“We left a minimum of 30 points off the board that were uncontested, in the gym by yourself baskets. And we lost by 13, leaving a minimum of 30 points out there.”

Even while Red Wing had an eight-minute stretch in the first half without a point, the Trojans never pulled away, holding just an 11-4 lead before Morgan Zebro hit a 3-pointer to make it a four-point game at the 7-minute, 35-second mark.

But with just four field goals in the first half and another eight-minute scoreless drought that extended into the second half, the Wingers just could not get a foot hold to start climbing back. Not helping matters was Red Wing’s ball control as New Prague forced the Wingers into 19 turnovers.

“We talked about on offense, what would you do differently, and we said, ‘We can’t put you in a position to get any more layups than you got tonight,” Muelken said. “They were point-blank, uncontested, catch the ball, turn and score.”

New Prague (16-7, 8-5 Missota) was led by Rachel Haecherl’s 13 points, and teammate Jessica Allar tallied 11 in the victory.

McKenzie Muelken scored 12 of her game-high 14 points in the second half while also grabbing five rebounds. McKenzie Cota had five points and six rebounds and Adelle DeSutter scored five points in the Red Wing loss.

The end of the regular season comes with some uncertainty for the Wingers. They head out on Friday to take on Missota Conference-leading Chaska on Friday. If the Missota Conference title is not decided on Friday, Red Wing will go on the road Saturday to play second-place Shakopee in a make-up game.

With the unknown regular-season finale, the Wingers’ main focus is building for section play, which begins March 5.

“All we can do is come in and practice hard the next two days,” Dave Muelken said. “Really, we need to try and get some confidence back.”


Red Wing 71, St. Paul Highland Park 50

After enduring 10 straight losses, Red Wing finally got back in the win column Monday, knocking off Section 4AAA opponent St. Paul Highland Park 71-50 in Sonju Gymnasium.

The victory was the Wingers’ first since Jan. 17 against Northfield.

McKenzie Muelken put up a monster performance with 31 points, nine rebounds (four offensive), four assists and three steals. McKayla “Bubba” Muelken finished with 12 points, Rebecca Swenning had seven points, and Kara Norvet helped all around the court with six assists and four steals.

As a team, Red Wing hauled in 31 rebounds, with 15 coming on the offensive glass.

Briara Virnig had a team-high 21 points and Samantha Agranoff added 10 points for the Scots.

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.

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