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Records set as Patriots lose at state

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Carlie Wagner, who will play for the University of Minnesota Gophers next season, scored a state tournament record with 53 points to lead New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva past the Pequot Lakes Patriots 100-68 in the Class AA state quarterfinals on Wednesday, March 19, at the University of Minnesota’s Mariucci Arena.

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Wagner had set the record with 48 points two years ago in defeating the Patriots in the Class AA third-place game. She broke the mark again last year with 50 points in beating Braham for the state championship.

The Panthers’ 100 points was also a state tournament record while the combined 168 points by the two teams was a record for state games not playing overtime.

To say Wagner had a big day was an understatement as she made 17 of 34 shots from the field, including six for 16 on 3-point attempts, and nailed 13 of 15 free throws. She also had six rebounds, seven assists and six steals.

“I thought we played well and kept it close for the first half, but couldn’t shut Wagner down no matter what we tried,” said Pequot Lakes coach Jon Dale. “She is a great player.”

The Patriots got off to a good start when Katie White drilled a 3-pointer, but the Panthers rallied for a 7-3 lead. Pequot Lakes bounced back for a 10-7 lead after a pair of layups by Vanessa Lane.

Kayla Miller’s 3-point basket gave the Patriots a 13-11 lead. The Patriots then turned the ball over serveral times, including 23 for the game, which led to points by the Panthers.

NR-H-E-G assumed a 27-17 lead midway through the opening after after a 3-pointer by Jade Schultz, who is also committed to play for the U of M women’s team next year. Pequot Lakes reduced the deficit with an 8-0 run behind pair of 3-pointers by White and a layup by Miller.

The Panthers maintained a lead, but the Patriots rallied behind a 3-point basket by White and layup by Lane cut the lead to 41-39 with 1:49 left in the half. That’s as close as Pequot Lakes would come in the game.

The Panthers scored nine of the next 11 points to build a 50-41 halftime lead. Wagner had six of those points to bring her opening half total to 26. Miller did have 15 points to lead Pequot Lakes in the first half.

The Panthers opened the second half with a 7-0 run for a 57-41 lead. The defending champions continued to build its lead for the remainder of the half. NR-H-E-G maintained a 30-point lead for the closing minutes to advance to the semifinals.

Miller finished with 25 points, including four 3-pointers, while White and Lane each had 19 points. White also had five 3-pointers while Lane added 10 rebounds.

“This season has definitely been a dream come true,” Miller said in a Brainerd Dispatch story. “It was our goal to get back to state. We have had three trips to state, and that’s a great career to have under your belt. We definitely worked hard to get here.”

About the Panthers’ admirable second-half start, Miller added:

“We just wanted to keep doing what we had been doing and they went on that early run and that kind of put us away, but we kept pushing and trying,” she said.

The Panthers defeated Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted in the semifinals and they downed Kenyon-Wannamingo 71-61 in the championship game on Saturday, March 22.

NR-H-E-G 50 50 — 100

Pequot Lakes 41 27 — 68

NR-H-E-G

Hannah Lundberg 2, Maddie Wagner 11, Marnie Wagner 7, Carlie Wagner 53, Paige Overgaard 6, Anna Stork 2, Jade Schultz 17, Kelli Harrington 2. FG 36-74 (48.6 percent), FT 15-20 (75 percent). 3-point 13-30 (43.2 percent).

PEQUOT LAKES

Caitie Ryan 2, Kelsey Hart 2, Vanessa Lane 19, Barbara Miller 1, Katie White 19, Kayla Miller 25. FG 24-62 (38.7 percent), FT 11-28 (39.3 percent). 3-point 9-27 (33.3 percent).

Rebounds: PL 37 (Vanessa Lane 10, Kayla Miller 6); NRHEG 53, Assists: PL 18 (Haley Wiebolt 8, Miller 5), NRHEG 20; Steals: PL 10 (Wiebolt 4), NRHEG 12; Blocks: PL 3, NRHEG 3; Turnovers: PL 23, NRHEG 19; Fouls: PL 16, NRHEG 25.

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