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Paynesville Press - March 8, 2006

Cats to oust Dogs from districts

By Michael Jacobson

The Bulldogs girls' basketball team rallied in the second half, but New London-Spicer used an 18-0 run to start the game to build a 34-15 halftime lead and eliminated the Dogs from the District 20 playoffs with a 57-48 victory at NL-S on Tuesday, Feb. 28.

The Dogs, seeded seventh in District 20, outscored the Cats 33-23 in the second half. Leading the charge in the second half was senior Lynn Lieser, who scored all 14 of her points in that half after injuring her knee late in the first half. (The Dogs also lost junior post Jacque Schlangen to a knee injury early in the game.)

"Going into halftime down by 19, the girls could have given up," said coach Jackie Parsley, who thought her team played great after the slow start, "but they put everything they had into the second half."

Guard Brittni Schmitz The Dogs made seven three-pointers in the game, including four in the second half. Senior Brooke Schmitz (11 points, five steals, and four assists) had two in the second half, sophomore Brittni Schmitz had one, and Lieser had one.

Brittni Schmitz, who led the Dogs with 16 points, had a trey in the first half, as did Brooke Schmitz and senior Ashley Lieser. In the first half, though, the Dogs made only two field goals and two free throws, so their first-half scoring included nine points on three treys and six other points.

Sophomore guard Brittni Schmitz led the Dogs with 16 points in their 57-48 loss to NL-S in the first round of the District 20 playoffs last week.

New London-Spicer, on the other hand, made all four of their treys in the first half, as part of 12 field goals. The Dogs limited the Cats to seven field goals in the second half, and no treys, but the Cats made nine of 12 free throws in the second half, which was their victory margin.

"It's sad to lose a game when the girls fought so hard, especially the seniors," said Parsley, "but it's a lot easier taking the loss knowing they gave it everything they got. The girls have done that all season, so you have to admire them for that."

"They are a great team to coach," added Parsley, who praised the team's chemistry and its five seniors (Amber Jensen, Allyson Klenke, Ashley Lieser, Lynn Lieser, and Brooke Schmitz) for their total effort each and every game.

The Dogs actually outscored the Cats from the field (43-42), but NL-S outscored Paynesville 15-5 at the free throw line. The Dogs were perfect in five chances from the free throw line, but the Cats made 15 of 21 free throws for the game.

Only five players scored for NL-S, but four reached double figures (junior post Jenn Wendlandt, 18; sophomore guard Ellary Asche, 15; sophomore post Renae Henjum, 12; and senior guard Cassidy Vogt, 11). They accounted for all but one of NL-S's points.

The loss in the district quarterfinals ended the season for the Bulldogs (7-15). It was the second straight year that the Cats have eliminated the Dogs in the district quarterfinals. Last year, the Wildcats beat the Dogs 62-29.

The Bulldogs lost to the Wildcats, who moved to the WCC North this year and finished second behind state-rated Albany, three times this winter season. The Cats beat the Dogs 53-43 at PAHS in December, 54-27 at NL-S in January, and 57-48 in the district playoffs last week.

The second-seeded Wildcats (20-7), a traditional power in girls' basketball who have sent 13 teams to state since 1985, winning two state titles, advanced to play third-seeded Howard Lake-Waverly in the district semifinals on Thursday, while top-seeded Eden Valley-Watkins played fifth-seeded Maple Lake, who upset fourth-seeded BBE.

Paynesville--15 33 - 48
NL-S--34 23 - 57

Paynesville 48 - Brittni Schmitz 7-0/0-16; Lynn Lieser 5-3/3-14; Brooke Schmitz 4-0/0-11; Ashley Lieser 1-0/0-3; JessiccaLee Klein 1-0/0-2; Allyson Klenke 0-2/2-2; TOTALS: FG 18/44, FT 5/5, 3's 7.

New London-Spicer 57 - Jenn Wendlandt 7-4/4-18; Ellary Asche 4-4/5-15; Renae Henjum 4-4/6-12; Cassidy Vogt 4-2/4-11; Kelsey Cors 0-1/2-1; TOTALS: FG 19, FT 15/21, 3's 4.

STATISTICS: 3-pointers - 7 Brooke Schmitz 3; Brittni Schmitz 2; Ashley Lieser 1; Lynn Lieser 1; Rebounds - 17; Assists - 9 Brooke Schmitz 4; Ashley Lieser 3; Steals - 6 Brooke Schmitz 5; Blocks - 5 Brooke Schmitz 2; Klenke 2.

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