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After falling to No. 1 Roseau in state quarterfinals, Panthers defeat Esko, Rochester Lourdes

They brought home the hardware.

The NRHEG girls’ basketball team, underdogs in the section tournament and unseeded at state, took the consolation title in the 2016-17 state tournament last week.

 

NRHEG 73, Rochester Lourdes 57

The Panthers didn’t just win the consolation championship game of the state girls’ basketball tournament.

They dominated it.

NRHEG routed Rochester Lourdes 73-57 Friday afternoon at Concordia University of St. Paul.

It was close for the first 12 minutes, with Marnie Wagner hitting three three-pointers for NRHEG, which led 24-20 after a Maddie Wagner free throw at about the 10-minute mark. The Panthers went on to finish the first half on a 14-4 run behind five points by Betsy Schoenrock, threes by Rachel Collins and Kayley Camerer, and a traditional three-point play by Maddie Wagner. It was 38-29 NRHEG at halftime.

The 2016-17 season was completed for the NRHEG wrestling team Saturday, Feb. 25 with the Section 2A Individual Tournament at Blue Earth.

As far as coach Shawn Larson was concerned, it ended a week early.

The young Panthers did not have a wrestler qualify for the state tournament, a rarity at NRHEG.

“It is unfortunate that the season came to an end for us without an individual qualifier for the state tournament, but we did have some good individual efforts,” said Larson.

The best effort was from junior Cole Staloch, who came home with third place at 152 pounds, missing state by one place.

The NRHEG boys’ basketball team is starting to get a bit predictable.

All they do is win.

The Panthers remained unbeaten last week, dispatching arch-rival WEM in a key Gopher Conference contest while taking nonconference decisions over Kenyon-Wanamingo and Hayfield. Coach Pat Churchill’s crew improved to 11-0 overall and 2-0 in the conference.

 

NRHEG 59, Hayfield 50

Visiting NRHEG walked away with a hard fought victory Saturday against a well coached, disciplined Hayfield team.

“Over the past few years, these games have been such grinds against these guys,” said Churchill. “They are so patient and take care of the basketball extremely well.”