Panthers bag one Tiger, let one get awayEllsworth High School’s girls’ basketball team captured one Tiger and let one get away.
By: Sean Scallon, Pierce County Herald
Ellsworth High School’s girls’ basketball team captured one Tiger and let one get away.
The Panthers were able to beat the Tigers of New Richmond 44-42 last Tuesday in Middle Border Conference play, but lost to the Tigers of Farmington, Minn. 56-49 Saturday.
EHS had a close call with the Tigers of New Richmond at home.
Ellsworth led 24-12 at halftime but NR, 1-8 overall, came back in the second half to close the margin. The Panthers needed to make 10-of-15 free throws, three-of-four by Carlie Melstrom in the fourth quarter, to bag their prey.
“It was important for our team to win a close game,” Ellsworth head coach Dave Berg to the Red Wing Republican-Eagle. “It was an important step in the development of our team.
Shannon Campbell led Ellsworth with 15 points.
With 2:30 to go in at home in Saturday’s make-up game with Farmington, Minn., Ellsworth was down just by a point at 47-46 and the Panthers called time-out.
“We told the kids the game has been compressed and we needed to have good shots on each of our remaining possessions and limit them to one and done,” Ellsworth head coach Dave Berg said. “Well, we didn’t accomplish this and as a result they came back to win.”
Farmington was able to outscore Ellsworth 9-3 over the final 2:30 of the ballgame to improve to 6-6 overall.
Ellsworth took a 46-45 lead after Kelly Kannel hit a free-throw. Farmington’s run was powered by Kirstee Rotty, who led all scorers with 25 points. She scored four points in the Tigers’ run, made a key steal and grabbed a critical rebound off a missed free-throw. Ellsworth also hurt itself with turnovers during its last few possessions.
“The important lesson our kids still need to learn is that when the pressure is on, we need to trust in our teammates,” Berg said. “Often times with young players they think when they get in trouble they need to do thing all by themselves to fix it. But they need to realize that’s what you teammates are for, to help you out when you do get in trouble and helped us a lot against their pressure defense.”
Rotty is the lone senior on the Farmington ball club. While just as young as the Panthers, they also had a noticeable size advantage.
“We worked against their kind of press they run in practice but you can’t simulate their size nor can you simulate how physical they are” Berg said.
Farmington had looked to break the game open in the second and third quarters but the Panthers held together and managed to get the lead in the fourth quarter.
Campbell led the Panthers with 19 points and teammate Taylor Murphy scored 12 points. Rachel Anderson finished with six points.
Eighth grader Taylor Meyer scored 12 points for Farmington.
Farmington is coached by Dave Berg’s son Jason.