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Tigers clinch conference title for sixth consecutive year

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The Pine River-Backus Tigers girls’ basketball team creamed the visiting Walker-Hackensack-Akeley Wolves 94-21 on Thursday, Feb. 21, to finish undefeated in Northwoods Conference play, and clinch the conference title for the sixth straight year.

The Tigers have gone 39-0 in the conference games over the last three years. PR-B ends the regular season 13-0 in the conference and 21-4 overall. The second-seeded Tigers are scheduled to host the No. 7 Northland-Remer Eagles in the first round of the Subsection 5A tournament on Thursday, Feb. 28. That winner will face the winner between No. 3 East Central vs. No. 6 Hill City at McGregor High School on Saturday, March 2.

Against W-H-A, the Tigers’ Autumn Ackerman was the first to score with a basket in the opening minute. The Wolves answered with two points, Kendra Brasel put in four points, and W-H-A got two more points to make the score 6-4. The Tigers scored six points with two each from Brittany Kelley, Tatum Sheley, and Megan Felthous, the Wolves answered with a free throw, and Brasel responded for the Tigers with her first of four 3-point baskets. Journee Howard put in a free throw, W-H-A got a three pointer, and the Tigers went on an 18-point run to make it 44-8 with seven minutes left in the half. In the last seven minutes, the Tigers scored another 18 points while the Wolves only managed six points to give PR-B a 52-14 lead at the half. In the second half the Tigers outscored the Wolves 42-7.

All but two of the Tigers scored, and four of the starters had double digits. Kelley came away with triple-double digits with 14 points and 10 rebounds, 10 steals, three assists, and three blocks. Brasel was the high scorer with 18 points, three assists, three steals, and two rebounds. Felthous had 16 points, four steals, two rebounds, one assist and one block. Sheley had 14 points, seven assists, six steals, four rebounds and one block. Ackerman had nine points, five rebounds, five steals and two assists. Brooke Richards was on fire as she drained three 3-pointers and had one rebound, one assist and one block. Nicole Arends finished with seven points and one steal. Howard had five points, two rebounds and two steals. And Jess Hanneken put in two points and had one rebound. “We shot really well,” said PR-B coach Randy Schwegel. “These seniors have won the conference every year they’ve played varsity. Now, going into the playoffs, we’re playing for keeps.”

Tigers 71, Menahga 22

The Tigers defeated the visiting Menahga Braves 71-22 on Tuesday, Feb. 19. Kelley scored the first two points with less than 10 seconds off the clock. Sheley put PR-B up 5-0 as she put in a layup off an assist by Brasel, plus got fouled on the shot and made the extra point. The Braves put in two points, the Tigers made six points with two each from Kelley, Sheley, and Felthous, and the Braves put in two free throws to make the score 11-4.

The Tigers put in seven points off two steals within a minute, including two free throws by Kelley off her own steal, two points by Felthous off a steal by Sheley, and a three pointer by Brasel. The Braves put in another two free throws, Sheley put in two points, Brasel put in two points, and Howard put in two points, to make the score 24-6 with nine minutes left in the half. The Braves added two points, PR-B made seven points, and Menahga made two more points. The Tigers scored eight points, Menahga put in two free throws with 48 seconds on the clock, and Kelley had the last points of the half as she put in a layup off an assist by Arends to make the score 41-12 at half time.

The Tigers outscored Menahga 30-10 in the second half to easily win. High scorer was Sheley with 16 points, five steals, four assists and one rebound. Ackerman had 14 points, seven rebounds, four steals, three blocks and one assist. Felthous had 14 points, five rebounds and one steal. Kelley had 12 points, six rebounds, four steals, three assists and two blocks. Brasel finished with seven points, three assists, two rebounds and one steal. Howard had six points, five rebounds, one assist and one steal. And Arends put in two points and had one assist.