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E-Gals deny Patriots again

John Rittenhouse

Recent history was repeated at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall Friday.
SMSU was the site of the South Section 3A Girls’ Basketball Tournament championship game between Hills-Beaver Creek and Southwest Christian for the third straight year.
Unfortunately for the Patriots, it’s where their season came to an end after taking a setback from the E-Gals for the third consecutive year.
Top-seeded H-BC sported a six-point lead in the game’s first half and led by five points with 4:11 remaining in the game, but No. 2 SWC rallied late in the contest to pull out a 50-47 victory.
The loss ends H-BC’s 22-3 campaign.
H-BC defeated the E-Gals twice in the regular season, but that didn’t seem to matter Friday.
SWC survived every challenge the Patriots offered and pulled out a three-point win to extend its season.
H-BC received three-point shots from Joslyn Birger and Taryn Rauk in the first 2:01 of the game to open a 6-0 cushion before SWC reeled off 10 consecutive points to move in front 10-6 at the 11:04 mark of the first half.
H-BC senior Whitney Elbers tied the score at 10 with a field goal at the 9:59 mark of the half, and the score was knotted at 12 moments later.
SWC, however, gained some separation by going on a 12-2 run to sport a 24-14 advantage with 4:26 remaining in the opening half.
The E-Gals were unable to maintain their comfortable lead as the Patriots went on a 13-5 run in the final four minutes to trail by two (29-27) after Kenadie Fick canned a three-point shot one second before the intermission.
Points were hard to come by for both teams in the early stages of the second half.
H-BC trimmed the difference to one point at two different occasions in the first 5:52 of the stanza before Rauk knotted the score at 33 with a three-point shot with 11 minutes left.
The teams exchanged leads over the next six minutes before the Patriots reeled off six consecutive points to open a 45-40 cushion when Fick buried a three at the 4:11 mark.
H-BC led 47-45 with 2:52 left to play, but the E-Gals scored the final five points of the game in the final 2:30 of the contest to secure the win.
Rauk (15 points) and Fick (11 points, three assists and three steals) led H-BC offensively.
Elbers blocked 14 shots and collected six rebounds for the Patriots, while Abby Knobloch charted five rebounds and three steals.
Box score
Fick 1 3 0-2 11, Rauk 2 3 2-4 15, Birger 0 1 0-0 2 3, Bos 1 0 0-0 2, Knobloch 2 0 4-6 8, Moser 1 0 0-0 2, Elbers 3 0 0-0 6.
Team statistics
H-BC: 17 of 46 field goals (37 percent), six of 12 free throws (50 percent), 25 rebounds, 23 turnovers.
SWC: 19 of 64 field goals (30 percent), six of seven free throws (86 percent), 20 rebounds, 13 turnovers.

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