The Lady Bulldogs advance to the semi-final round of the Region 1A girls basketball tournament. They defeated the Britton-Hecla Braves 54-24 on Tuesday, February 21. The No. 2 seed Milbank Area faces the No. 3 seed Aberdeen Roncalli Cavaliers Thursday, February 23, at 7:30 p.m. in Sisseton. The winner advances to the Sweet 16 game.
In the Britton-Hecla game, Milbank Area scored just one point in the first three minutes and turnovers and fouls seemed to plague them. Molly Rick finally got things rolling with the team’s first field goal of the game at the 4:40 mark. Milbank Area then settled down and led 13-3 at the end of the opening quarter. The Lady Bulldogs extended their lead to 24-6 at the midway mark.
Milbank Area got into its shooting groove and stepped up its defense in the second half. The Lady Bulldogs poured in 22 points in the third quarter to take a commanding 46-16 lead. In the fourth quarter, both teams added eight points to their totals. Milbank Area easily took the win 54-24.
“We started a bit shaky the first three minutes,” stated Milbank Area Head Coach Brian Pauli. “I think the girls were a little nervous. Once we saw the ball go in the hoop, we relaxed and played a lot better. The biggest difference against Britton-Hecla this time was our defense took them out of their rhythm and we made them take tough shots. Congrats to Caryssa on scoring the 1,000th point in her varsity career. Its a pretty neat accomplishment!”
Gabbi Cummins sparked the Lady Bulldogs with 16 points, 5 rebounds, 3 steals, 1 assist, and 1 blocked shot. Taylor Thue followed with 15 points, 1 rebound, 2 steals, and 1 assist. Rick tallied 8 points, 2 rebounds, and 1 steal. Mielitz added 7 points, 13 rebounds, 1 assist, and 2 blocked shots.
Also contributing to the team totals were: Sophia Seffrood, 4 points, 1 rebound, and 1 assist; Mackayla Schuelke, 2 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals; Karlee Mertens, 2 points and 5 rebounds; Mikaela Hoeke, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 steal; and LaChasity Finley, 1 rebound.
Milbank Area went 22-of-48 from the field for 46 percent shooting. The Lady Bulldogs collected the victory with 37 rebounds, 12 steals, 11 assists, and 3 blocked shots. They committed 11 turnovers.
Britton-Hecla made just 18 percent of its shots from the field – 7 of 39 attempts. The Braves ended the game with 26 rebounds, 11 steals, and 1 assist. They committed 14 turnovers.
File photo of sophomore Taylor Thue.