Paynesville jumped to an early 14-6 lead in the first half. Six different players scored for Paynesville in the first quarter.
The trend would continue in the second as Paynesville would score eight points to Litchfieldís four. Carin Frenchickís eight first half points would pace the Lady Bulldogs to a 22-10 first half lead.
Earlier in the week, Litchfield posted 77 points in a game, thus the defensive effort in the first half was super.
The Dragons quickly got back into the game in the third quarter. The Paynesville lead dwindled to just two points only three minutes into the quarter. Guard Rachel Bates hit three quick baskets to lead the charge.
Despite the momentum on the side of Litchfield, Paynesville retained a 33-30 advantage after three quarters.
The rest of the game would never display a team with a lead of more than four points.
Frenchick rebounded a ball and was sent to the foul line in the closing seconds of regulation. Paynesville trailed by a single point. Frenchick missed both shots, but was awarded another attempt because of a lane violation on the Dragons. Frenchick nailed the third attempt to send the game into overtime.
The first overtime ended with each team scoring five points. Amber Michaelis scored three and Tanya Lieser the other two points. Paynesville made the only two shots they attempted.
Paynesville had a 54-50 lead in the second overtime, but allowed Litchfield to tie the game in the final minute.
The fatigue factor would really show in the third overtime. Both defenses were tired, but neither had enough energy left to take advantage of it on offense.
Paynesville didnít score a field goal in the fourth and final overtime. A single freethrow by Tanya Lieser would account for the scoring.
Litchfield: 6 4 20 14 5 7 3 4 -63
Bulldogs: 14 8 11 11 5 7 3 1 -60
Monday, Feb. 8, was parentís night for the girls basketball teams. The Lady Bulldogs showed their gratitude by knocking off first place Sauk Centre 63-46.
Sauk Centre started very strong as they posted a 15-10 lead at the conclusion of the first quarter. The Bulldogs responded by playing their best three quarters of basketball. Paynesville out scored Sauk Centre 53-31 over the final three quarters.
The scoring department was the most diverse than it has been all year. Four Lady Bulldogs scored in double figures, with junior Carin Frenchick tallying a career high of 20 points.
Senior co-captain Amber Michaelis netted 16, junior co-captain Tanya Lieser poured in 14, and sophomore Steph Krupke scored a season high of 10 points.
Rebounding was vital as Frenchick led the way with 11, and Lieser grabbed nine. Junior Carrie Hemmesch added five boards.
Defense was paced by Michaelisí five steals and Lieserís five blocks.
Any attempt by Sauk Centre to get back into the game was upended by terrific free shooting. Paynesville was successful on 21 out of 27.
Definitely one of the high points of the season was the effort as well as the opportunity to get every player into the game.
Sauk Centre: 15 7 17 7 - 46
Paynesville: 10 16 17 20 - 63
Next Tuesday, Feb. 23, they will travel to Eden Valley for a first round playoff game.
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