The Milbank Area Lady Bulldogs completed its regular season in style Thursday night in front of a large home crowd at the Milbank Armory. The Lady Bulldogs outlasted Deuel 41-38 to earn a victory in its last game of the regular season and improve to 6-14 overall.
Both teams struggled to put points on the board to start the game. Three minutes into the contest, Caryssa Mielitz ended the scoring drought with a field goal. The teams inched its way point-by-point and were knotted up at 6-6 at the end of the opening quarter. Milbank Area outscored Deuel 9-6 in the second period to go ahead 15-12 at the midway mark.
Milbank Area fired in back-to-back three pointers to widen the gap early in the third period. Deuel came back with an old fashioned three point play to cut the lead to one point at 27-26 heading into the final stanza.
Mikayla Street started out the fourth quarter with a big bucket. Molly Rick followed that up with a three pointer to go ahead 32-28. Midway through the quarter, Deuel went ahead 32-34 with four free throws. The teams then evened up the score several times before Rick laid the ball in for two at 38-38 with time running out. On the next play, Street came up with a big steal and was fouled on a shot under the hoop sending her to the charity stripe. She missed the first but found nothing but net on the second free throw to give Milbank Area the one point advantage at 39-38 with 15 seconds on the clock.
Deuel had its opportunities, but threw the ball away giving the Lady Bulldogs the chance to seal the deal. Shelby Hooth was fouled and missed the mark on the front of the one-on-one, but Rick was there for the rebound and was fouled with 11.5 ticks on the clock. Rick made one of two free throws giving Milbank Area the 40-38 advantage.
Deuel turned the ball over again to the Lady Bulldogs while Hooth converted the turnover into one point from the free throw line and secure the victory at 41-38.
“This was a great win for our seniors,” noted Milbank Area head coach Joe Frederiksen. “We executed well down the stretch to hold onto the lead.”
Three players scored in double figures for the Lady Bulldogs. Rick set the pace for the locals with 16 points, six rebounds and one turnover. Mielitz had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. She also added two steals, two blocked shots and four turnovers. Street fired in 11 points and snared four rebounds, three steals and two turnovers on the night.
Also contributing for Milbank Area were Mikaela Hoeke, two points, one assist and one turnover; Hooth, one point, three rebounds and one steal; Cara Berkner, two rebounds; Tori Brandenburger, one rebound, and Karlee Mertens, two rebounds, two steals and one turnover.
Milbank Area went 16 for 50 from the field for 32 percent shooting on the night. The Lady Bulldogs wrapped up the victory with 40 rebounds, nine steals, two blocked shots, one assist and 10 turnovers.
Deuel made 30 percent of its shots from the field, making 16 of 53 attempts. The Cardinals finished the game with 41 rebounds, five steals, two blocked shots and 16 turnovers.
Milbank Area will head into the Region 1A tournament Tuesday, February 23, in Britton. Keep up with The Valley Express for game times and a sneak peak into the local’s first round matchup.
Junior Varsity – The Milbank Area junior varsity team soared to a 62-18 victory over Deuel Thursday, February 18. The young Lady Bulldogs were led by Kylie Kasuske with 20 points.