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Raiders rally twice to beat Gilmanton

ELMWOOD - Someone for the Elmwood High School girls basketball team needed to become Kayla Thompson.

The Raiders needed to match the big scorer for Gilmanton whom Elmwood could not stop in the low post in last Tuesday's Tuesday in a WIAA Division 4 Regional contest.

Well, the Raiders matched Thompson's game-high 29 points with 27 points from Erika Wolf.

But as Wolf will tell you, the Raiders had a lot more than just her scoring to overcome double digit deficits not once, but twice in a 68-62 victory.

"This was a team effort," Wolf said. "I know I scored a lot of points but all of us came together and did what we had to win the ballgame."

The Raiders trailed 29-13 in the first half and 48-36 in the second half due to Thompson's scoring and that of teammate Nicole Bielefeldt, who finished with 19 points. They helped the Panthers top Elmwood during the regular season 61-53.

"She's quick and strong and tough to get off the block," Wolf said of Thompson.

But in both cases Elmwood rallied back thanks in part to foul trouble on the Panthers, 7-14 overall. Gilmanton committed 30 personal fouls, saw three players foul out and watched as EHS sank 27-of-43 free throws.

Wolf made 8-of-13 to lead her squad. Four other players made four or more free-throws.

"When we made our free-throws is when we came back in the ballgame," EHS head coach Jerry Hannack said. "We missed a lot in the first half but in the second we did a better job at the line."

Gilmanton lost the services of Thompson midway through the third quarter with four fouls and her absence hurt the Panthers. Elmwood went on a 14-0 run to close the quarter and led 50-48, their first lead of the ballgame. The Raiders led by as many as eight points in the fourth.

"I've coached a lot of teams that may have been better in terms of talent and skills," Hannack said. "But this team combined has some biggest hearts that I've ever coached and that's why we were able to make the comeback."

The team effort came with double figure scoring from Kelsey Hannack and Karen Hartung. Hannack finished with 12 points and Hartung scored 11. Katy Riess finished with seven points.