Tanya Lieser keeps the ball away from her opponent.
From the beginning of the game, the girls knew they had to play tough defense to win. They weren't intimi-dated because Litchfield had beaten them before, just more determined. Carin Frenchick scored the first bucket of the game, but the Dragons would lead at the end of the first quarter 8-4.
The second quarter continued to be a defensive battle. The Bulldogs had many turnovers in their half court offense, which resulted in fewer shots taken. The teams combined to score nine points in the second quarter and Litchfield led at halftime, 12-9.
The Bulldogs came out of halftime fired up. It was possibly the best third quarter the Bulldogs have played. They held Litchfield to eight points, while the Bulldogs scored 10. Stacy Lieser and Steph Krupke hit key three pointers to get the Bulldogs back in the game.
With Litchfield leading 20-19, both teams picked up their offense in the fourth quarter. Krupke hit another two treys to keep the Bulldogs in the game. The score was tied at 31 with under a minute to play, and the Bulldogs had the ball. Frenchick drove to the hoop, made the basket, and was fouled. She made the free throw to put the Bulldogs up by three points with 3.2 seconds left. Litchfield threw up a half court shot after the buzzer.
This was the first girls' sub-section win since 1994 when the Bulldogs played in the subsection final at Halenbeck Hall in St. Cloud against New London-Spicer.
Leading the Bulldogs were Krupke with 11 points and Frenchick with 10 points.
New London-Spicer 48
On Thursday, Paynesville headed to Annandale to face New London-Spicer in the subsection semifinals. The Wildcats were the #1 seed in the subsection and went on to win the subsection crown.
The Bulldogs were ready for the Wildcats and their tough zone defense. Paynesville stayed right with NL-S for the first ten minutes of the game. Stacy Lieser contributed five of her seven points in the first quarter. At the end of the first quarter, the Bulldogs trailed by two, 12-10.
The battle continued in the second quarter. At one point the score was tied 14-14, but the Wildcats slowly inched ahead in the final minutes of the half. NLS went into the locker room with a 24-15 advantage.
The Bulldogs proceeded to get outhustled by the better rested Wildcats. NL-S has a deep bench allowing them to substitute every few minutes.
Carin Frenchick helped her team by scoring five of her team leading 11 points in the third quarter. But it wasn't enough and the Wildcats won 48-27.
In their previous game, NL-S scored 94 points in a victory over Howard Lake-Waverly. It's rare that the Wildcats score under 50 points. Paynesville's guards played excellent defense, not allowing the Wildcats' starting guards to score.
Frenchick had 11 points and five rebounds to lead the Bulldogs. Stacy Lieser added seven points and five rebounds.
The Bulldogs ended their season with a final record of 12-12.
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