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NRHEG girls defend state title


NRHEG girls' basketball seniors hoist the state championship trophy at Williams Arena in Minneapolis Saturday. The Panthers won their second consecutive Class AA state title. (Star Eagle photo by Chris Schlaak)

The NRHEG girls' baskball team did it again.

The Panthers succeeded in defending their Minnesota Class AA girls' basketball title with a 71-61 victory over Kenyon-Wanamingo Saturday at Williams Arena in Minneapolis.

Senior Carlie Wagner scored 36 record-setting points and her ninth-grade twin sisters added 16 more; 9 for Maddie and 7 for Marnie. All three made the all-tournament team and, for the third year in a row, Carlie broke several records. Paige Overgaard scored eight points Saturday, Jade Schultz seven, Hannah Lundberg four.

Despite a furious second-half comeback attempt, the Knights just couldn’t recover from an 18-point halftime deficit. Kenyon-Wanamingo was only 23 percent (6-26) from the field in the opening half. Turnovers, 18 of them, also plagued the Knights. Twenty-one of the Panthers’ points resulted from turnovers.

Carlie Wagner’s 36 points gave her 130 for the tournament, breaking her own 2013 record of 129. Those points also added to her total of Most Points in State Tournament History, a mark she set in the semifinals. That total is now 371 points, set over three state tournaments. The previous record was held by legend Janet Karvonen of New York Mills. She scored 329 points in four state tournaments from 1977 through 1980. Wagner set the single-game scoring record, again breaking her own 2013 mark of 50 with 53 points in the quarterfinals.

Maddie Wagner pulled down a team-high 10 rebounds for NRHEG, which finishes the season undefeated at 31-0.

Kenyon-Wanamingo had three players in double figures, led by junior Megan Quam with 22 points and 10 rebounds. Senior Siri Sviggum added 11 points and senior Audra Clark added 10 points plus a game- and team-high 11 rebounds. The Knights finish the season at 31-2.

Information provided by Howard Voigt, MSHSL

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