East girls lose in overtime to New Ulm
By Joe Steck – Mankato Times
MANKATO, MINN. — The Mankato East girls basketball team lost to New Ulm in overtime 53-56 Tuesday night in Mankato. With the loss the Cougars fall to 1-7 while the Eagles improve to 7-0 on the season.
New Ulm came out pressing throughout most of the first, but that did not stop the Cougars from getting the ball across the half court line and into the basket. The Cougars played a very solid first half defensively, with players filling in for Shayla Karge who left the game early with three fouls.
The Cougars led 27-25 at the half with Torey Richards putting up 10 points to lead the team while the defense held the Eagles Meleah Reinhart to 10 points.
The Cougars led 49-47 with 15 seconds left in the game, but the Eagles Joey Batt was fouled while driving to the hoop with 5 seconds left to put her on the line. Batt drained both shots and a desperation shot by the Cougars fell short, sending the game into overtime. Karge fouled out of the game in the second half leaving with 7 points while Reinhart fouled out for the Eagles, leaving with a game high 21 points.
Emma Bute took over in overtime, nailing two 3-point shots for the Eagles while Torey Richards scored a 2-point shot and made two free throws as the Cougars fell short 53-56.
Torey Richards led the Cougars in scoring with 17 points followed by Natalie Schisel with 10 and Abby Grams with 8 points.
“I think we played really well tonight. New Ulm is a very good team and they are a good section matchup for us. We came out and played really well,” said Richards “Our younger players are playing well. We have two 7th graders on the team and that is a lot of pressure on them and they did a really good job.”
East head Coach Dave Makela said he was proud of how his team played.
“I loved our game plan and we had the game in hand for the most part. We had a 5-point lead down the stretch and it came down to free throws. All we can ask is to put ourselves in the position where we have a chance to win – and we did. It just wasn’t our night,” said Coach Makela “Abby Grams was incredible tonight getting back cuts and we were getting layups off of their zone, I was happy for how she played down the stretch and how the team was unselfish with their passes.”
“It makes such a difference having Torey Richards back with the team. Torey was incredible handling the ball all night. Our press breaker was working because our kids were in their spots and they were disciplined which is something we worked on all week during practice. We had a great game plan,” said the Coach “What it comes down to is you still have to score points. We came up short one free throw to win the game. In overtime we still had our shot. Both teams had their best players foul out but we hung in. They made some big shots down the stretch and that was the difference.”