GIRLS BASKETBALL: Panthers outlast Sting in quarters

TRACY – In a game that featured 53 combined turnovers, it was the timing of the turnovers that proved costly for Yellow Medicine East.

The Sting fell 61-55 to Tracy-Milroy-Balaton in the opening round of the girls 3AA tournament Friday night.

“One thing I’ve always thought about our basketball team is that we always play hard,” YME coach Randy Haakenson said. “All year long we’ve had people in the right positions, but we’re not very good at recognizing where those people are. When teams put pressure on us, we tend to fold.”

Fold under the Panthers pressure is exactly what the Sting did.

The game was tied at 53-53 with 2:20 to go in the second half before Kaylee Kirk was able to steal the inbounds pass and lay the ball in for a 55-53 lead. A steal by Kassidy Przymus on the ensuing possession lead to two free throws by Pryzmus, making it 57-53 and a two-possession game with just over 1:30 to go.

YME was able to cut the lead to 58-55 with 23.6 to go, but Sammie Gervais made three out of her next four free throw attempts to help put the game away.

The Panthers defense forced 31 Sting turnovers while committing 22 turnovers themselves.

After a sloppy first half, the Panthers were able to clean it up in the second half by picking up the intensity on defense.

“At halftime, we decided that we were going to play better defense and get more offensive and defensive rebounds,” Sammie Gervais said. “That helped with the sloppiness.”

Cassie Hook finished as the leading scorer for the Panthers with 20 points while Sammie Gervais had 11 and Kirk finished with eight points.

Gabbie Gervais finished as the leading rebounder, pulling down 10 boards to go with her seven points on the night.

Makayla Dyrdahl finished with 24 points to lead the Sting while Chyanne Sand added 15 points and had 14 rebounds to complete a double-double.

Sand also had six steals and a block.

Both teams struggled from the field in this one as they both shot 30 percent in a game that was a closer No. 1 vs. No. 8 seed than most expected.

Part of their play came from nerves of being new to the spotlight.

“I knew we’d be a little bit nervous,”TMB coach Derek Ashbaugh said. “I don’t think we’ve been favored in a section game in a long time, so I think that got to us a little bit. Give credit to YME, they played very well and executed. They were a tough team tonight.”

The win marked the Panthers first section playoff win since they entered 3AA in 2005 and was also the first time they were a No. 1 seed.

They will take on No. 4 seed BOLD in the next round of the tournament on Tuesday.

YELLOW MEDICINE EAST (6-18 OVERALL): Britanna Raddatz 1-7 1-2 4, Megan Odegard 0-0 0-0 0, Makayla Dyrdahl 11-21 2-4 24, Jordan Hinz 0-1 0-1 0, Allison Carmany 2-3 1-2 5, Allie Zieske 0-5 0-0 0, Alexis Peters 0-1 0-0 0, Madison Hagert 0-1 0-0 0, Chyanne Sand 5-17 4-10 15, Hailey Enstad 3-16 0-0 7. TOTALS: 19-63 (30%) 8-19 (41%) 55.

TRACY-MILROY-BALATON (19-6 OVERALL): Kaylee Kirk 4-6 0-0 8, Cassie Hook 7-19 4-8 20, Anna Peterson 0-4 1-2 1, Kassidy Przymus 1-8 4-10, Sammie Gervais 2-13 7-10 11, Kasey Hoek 0-3 0-0 0, Jessie Nelson 0-1 1-2 1, Gabbie Gervais 1-5 5-6 7, Sara Stoneberg 3-10 0-1 6. TOTALS: 15-50 (30%) 22-39 (56%) 61.

HALFTIME: TMB 32 Loser YME 28. 3-POINT FIELD GOALS: Yellow Medicine East 3-9 (Raddatz 1-1, Sand 1-1, Enstad 1-7.); Tracy-Milroy-Balaton 3-19 (Hook 2-7, Pryzmus 1-3). REBOUNDS: Yellow Medicine East 48 (Sand 14); Tracy-Milroy-Balaton 39 (S. Gervais). TOTAL FOULS (FOULED OUT): Yellow Medicine East 26 (Hinz); Tracy-Milroy-Balaton 17 (None). TECHNICAL FOULS: YME (Sand). ASSISTS: Yellow Medicine East 11 (Sand 5); Tracy-Milroy-Balaton 8 (Pryzmus 4). STEALS: Yellow Medicine East 11 (Sand 6); Tracy-Milroy-Balaton 14 (Kirk 4). BLOCKED SHOTS: Yellow Medicine East 2 (Sand 1, Raddatz 1); Tracy-Milroy-Balaton 2(G. Gervais 1, Stoneberg 1). TURNOVERS: Yellow Medicine East 31; Tracy-Milroy-Balaton 22.