The Milbank Area Lady Bulldogs downed the Deuel Cardinals 64-54 as part of double header basketball action at the Milbank Armory Tuesday, January 3. The locals improved to 3-3 on the season with the victory.
Milbank Area got out to a solid start. Molly Rick found the net for two points before Gabbi Cummins and Mikaela Hoeke hit back-to-back three pointers to go ahead 8-0. The Lady Bulldogs widened the gap to 19-9 at the end of the first period with free throws by Karlee Mertens, a field goal by Sophia Seffrood and another three by Cummins.
“I thought we started the game moving the ball well offensively, and we were making shots,” commented Lady Bulldog head coach Brian Pauli.
Milbank Area continued to play a solid game at both ends of the court. Rick came up with a steal and a full court lay-up to extend the locals lead to 24-9. Cummins then fired in another three-pointer before stealing the ball and dishing it to Seffrood for two on a fast break to move the score to 35-14. The first half ended with Milbank Area leading Deuel 35-22.
The teams played fairly even throughout the second half. Both teams added 12 points to its total in the third period before Deuel outscored Milbank Area 20-17 in the final stanza. With the early first half lead, the Lady Bulldogs held on for the 64-54 victory.
“I thought right before half we got careless with the basketball and that took some of the zip out of us defensively,” noted Pauli. “The second half we didn’t move our feet on defense well enough and didn’t challenge the shooters. But we did find a way to win! I told the girls after the game, we aren’t going to feel bad for winning. We have areas to improve, but the win is all that matters.”
Caryssa Mielitz led the Lady Bulldogs with 26 points, seven rebounds, three assists, two blocked shots and one steal. Cummins followed with 15 points, four boards, three steals and one assist. Rick tallied eight points, five rebounds, three blocked shots, two steals and one assist while Seffrood added eight points and two rebounds.
Also contributing to the totals for Milbank Area were Hoeke, three points; Mertens, two points and one rebound; Taylor Thue, two points and two rebounds; Mackayla Schuelke, two rebounds, three assists, two blocked shots and one steal; Jaecy Engebretson, one rebound, and Shea Hooth, one blocked shot.
Milbank Area made 46% of its shots from the field, hitting 24 of 52 attempts. The Lady Bulldogs captured the win with 39 rebounds, 13 steals, nine blocked shots, eight assists and 15 turnovers.
Deuel went 18-for-48 from the field for 38 percent shooting on the night. The Cardinals finished the game with 34 rebounds, 11 steals, one assist and 14 turnovers.
Milbank Area will host Sisseton in Northeast Conference double header basketball action Thursday, January 5, at the Milbank Armory.
Pictured above: sophomore starter Gabbi Cummins.