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SCOOP SHOT — The Panthers’ Kelly Harden drives for a left-handed layup during NRHEG's home game against Medford Tuesday, Dec. 12. (Star Eagle photo by Chris Schlaak)

 

Many questions surrounded the NRHEG girls’ basketball team for the 2017-18 season.

Many of them have been answered.

The Panthers, looking to replace four starters from last year’s state tournament team, notched a pair of wins last week, 67-57 over Medford and 74-64 over Kenyon-Wanamingo, improving their record to 4-1 overall and 2-1 in the Gopher Conference.

NRHEG 67 Medford 57

After a slow start, the Panthers bested the Tigers in a conference game in New Richland Tuesday, Dec. 12.

“The girls chipped away at Medford's lead and we were able to go in the half up by two,” said NRHEG coach Onika Peterson. “In the second half we took care of the ball a little bit better and rebounded stronger.”

The Redwood Riot is one of the toughest wrestling tournaments any team can enter, but the NRHEG Panthers keep coming back.

The still-young NRHEG squad finished 27th out of 33 teams in the annual event Dec. 15 and 16 at Redwood Falls.

The Panthers came home with two placewinners, Cole Staloch sixth at 160 pounds and Tyler Jacobson sixth at 170.

“In several of the weight classes, we were underdogs going in and even though they fought hard the competition proved too tough,” said NRHEG coach Shawn Larson. “We had two wrestlers make it through to the second day of the tournament. Watching the matches I feel that we could have had four wrestlers in the second day if we would have wrestled up to our potential. In the end, the two others that I am referring to are young, and made mistakes that young kids make in wrestling. These wrestlers are putting themselves in position to win, and just not executing in the end of their matches. On the bright side, Tyler Jacobson and Cole Staloch continued to wrestle well making it to the podium in a very tough tournament, each placing sixth. This tournament is a good measuring stick for our individuals who have plans for a deep run in the postseason. We found out where we have weaknesses and will get to work on strengthening these areas immediately in practice.”

 

To say the Maple River Eagles have been a thorn in the side of the NRHEG boys’ basketball team in recent years is a bit of an understatement.

Last week, the Panthers exacted some revenge on the Eagles’ court, pulling away for a 77-63 triumph at Mapleton Tuesday, Dec. 5.

“Both teams are replacing a lot of players from last year, and I feel both teams are going to keep getting better as the year goes on,” said Churchill.

Lundberg had a big night with 35 points.

“He played huge again for us with 18 in the first half and 17 in the second half,” said Churchill. “He and Brady Agrimson are our two most experienced players and we are going to lean on them to start the year.”

Agrimson was next for NRHEG with 13 points, followed by Jerret Utpadel six, Devin Buendorf six, Peyton Castle six, Jacob Schuller five, Nathaniel Techau four and Perry Peterson two.

Maple River led much of the first half but NRHEG kept it close. The Eagles were up seven with about four minutes left when the Panthers went on an 11-2 run and took a 29-27 halftime lead.