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A TIME TO SHINE — With NRHEG fans on their feet, Carlie Wagner (3) attempts a shot in the final minutes of Saturday’s third-place game. Below, Wagner breaks the record on a free throw. (Star Eagle photos by Chris Schlaak)

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By JIM LUTGENS

Editor/Publisher

The man at the microphone was unmistakable: Dick Janckowski, voice of the Minnesota Gophers.

“Ladies and gentlemen, you witnessed history here today,” he boomed. “You witnessed history.”

After joking about Carlie Wagner signing autographs later in the day, Janckowski had his photo taken with Wagner and, before he left the building, indeed did have Wagner sign the scorebook.

It was that kind of day for Wagner and the NRHEG girls’ basketball team.

The Panthers’ sophomore star broke two state records — 48 points in a single game and a three-game total of 112 — as NRHEG finished its season on a winning note, 73-59 over Pequot Lakes in the third-place game of the state tournament Saturday at Concordia University in St. Paul.


By JIM LUTGENS

Editor/Publisher

The NRHEG Panthers finally met their biggest nemesis of the season.

It was themselves.

The Panthers picked a bad time for perhaps their poorest performance of the season Friday night in a 56-39 loss to Sauk Centre in the semifinals of the state girls’ basketball tournament at Target Center.

The loss brought an end to the Panthers’ 31-game winning streak and dropped them into the third-place game Saturday at noon at Concordia College in St. Paul.

So what went wrong for the Panthers?

“What went wrong was when they went to a triangle-and-two (defense) and went man-to-man on Carlie and Jade,” said coach John Schultz. “Others had trouble hitting their shots.  Sauk Centre just kept on scoring. We got what we wanted for shots. They just wouldn’t fall.”

That’s for sure.

NRHEG stuns Braham in state quarterfinals

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TWO OF THE FINEST — Carlie Wagner of NRHEG (3) drives to the basket against Rebekah Dahlman of Braham (left) during the quarterfinals of the state girls' basketball tournament at Target Center in Minneapolis Wednesday night. Wagner scored a career-high 43 points as the Panthers won 75-45. (Star Eagle photos by Chris Schlaak)

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ON TO THE SEMIFINALS — NRHEG girls' basketball players display their jubilation near the end of Wednesday night's state tournament victory over defending state champion Braham at Target Center in Minneapolis. The Panthers' next game is Friday at 6 p.m. at Target Center.


By JIM LUTGENS

Editor/Publisher

Eleven busloads of NRHEG girls’ basketball fans went home happy from Minneapolis Wednesday night.

The Panthers’ dream season continued with a stunning 75-45 victory over defending Class AA state champion Braham in the quarterfinals of the state tournament at Target Center.

The Panthers, now 31-0, advanced to the semifinals against Sauk Centre Friday at 6 p.m. at Target Center. If they win, they’ll play for the state championship Saturday at 2 p.m. at Target Center. A Friday night loss would put the Panthers in the third-place game Saturday at noon at Concordia College. Braham finished 29-2.

Most of the talk surrounding the Panthers’ first-round game centered on Braham junior Rebekah Dahlman, who during the game became the state’s all-time leading scorer in girls’ basketball.

By the end of the night, she was congratulating Panther sophomore Carlie Wagner, who lit it up for a career-high 43 points, four shy of the single-game state tournament record.