The first-round game was supposed to be held on Thursday night, but due to bad weather it was pushed back to Friday.
It was obvious during warm-ups that the girls were ready to play. They started the game with fire, and never let up, winning 64-52.
The Dogs played very well the first quarter, taking a 16-9 lead. They shot the ball well and played good defense.
The second quarter they let up a bit, allowing the Lakers to outscore them 15-12 in the quarter. Still the Dogs headed down to the locker room at halftime with a 28-24 lead.
In the second half, the Dogs played very well, scoring 16 points in the third quarter and 20 points in the fourth.
Steph Krupke and Stacy Lieser (takes shot at right) led the team with 18 and 17 points respectively. Krupke also led the team with seven assists. Lieser led the team with six steals. Heidi Jansen had 10 rebounds.
The win advanced the Bulldogs to the championship game against Maple Lake, which beat Big Lake 61-57 in the other game last week. The third-place and championship games will be held on Saturday, Jan. 15.
Melrose 67, Paynesville 58
The Bulldogs are still looking for their first conference victory after losing last week to the Melrose Dutchmen, 67-58.
A week after losing their conference opener on a last-second shot, the Bulldogs traveled to Melrose on Tuesday, Dec. 19.
The first half went well. The Dogs were playing like they were capable of. Both teams were playing with intensity. Both teams played good offense and defense. Towards the end of the first half the Paynesville girls committed a few extra fouls that led to some free throws for the Dutchmen.
At halftime, the score was tied 32-32.
At the end of three quarters the Dogs trailed by only four, 49-45.
The fourth quarter started out good, until the Dogs started to foul again. Four Paynesville players fouled out. Again fouling led to free throws and to some easy points for the Dutchmen.
The Dutchmen pulled away with the win 67-58.
The girls struggled with free throws. Making only nine of the 20 they shot. Field goals were also a struggle, as the Bulldogs made 23 shots of the 68 taken. Rebounding helped the Dogs as they tore down 43 rebounds. Heidi Jansen grabbed 24 rebounds for the Bulldogs.
Stacy Lieser led the team with five assists, and Steph Krupke was right behind with four.
Krupke led a balanced attack with 11 points, and Jansen and Lieser each had ten. Lisa Hemingson added nine points and eight players scored for Paynesville.
The Dogs are off this week. They will play at home on Tuesday, Jan. 2, against Renville County West. They will also play at home on Friday, Jan. 5, against Litchfield, which won its first two conference games.
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