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Kerry Collins, Published March 12 2009

Minnesota Class 1A, Section 6 girls basketball tournament: Cougars head to finals

It took a little bit for Ada-Borup to get going, but coach David Smart cut his team some slack.

After all, they were coming off a snow day.

The sluggish start was short-lived, and the Cougars cruised to a 60-36 win over New York Mills in the Class 1A, Section 6 semifinals on Friday at Memorial Auditorium.

“We started like a team that was stranded in their houses because of the snow the day before,” Smart said. “But once we got that first steal, then we got going.”

New York Mills scored the first five points of the game, but then a Katy Ness bucket and an immediate steal and layup by Nicole Smart ignited a 19-2 run over a span of 4 minutes, 10 seconds.

“We came out kind of slow, but we stuck to our game plan,” said Nicole Smart, who finished with 21 points to lead all scorers. “Our defense always gets us going, and that’s what we relied on again.”

Second-ranked Ada-Borup forced 12 New York Mills turnovers in the first half on the way to a 38-19 lead at the half.

Along with Smart’s 21 points, Laura Kolness (13) and Ness (12) also finished in double figures. Ness also had 13 rebounds and four assists.

“Right now, it’s just getting the job done,” coach Smart said. “They don’t all have to be pretty as long as you keep winning. This was the next step.”

Hannah Rutten led the Eagles in the loss with 20 points and 10 rebounds.

The Cougars will take on Brandon-Evansville in Friday’s section title game at Memorial Auditorium. The Chargers (24-2) were ranked fifth in the final regular-season poll.

NEW YORK MILLS: Helmeke 0 0-0 0, Boe0 0-1 0, Kahilainen 1 0-0 3, Welter 2 0-0 6, Rutten 8 4-8 20, McCall 1 0-0 2, Perala 0 0-0 0, Cole 0 0-0 0, Menze 2 1-2 5, Carlson 0 0-0 0, Smith 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 5-11 36.

ADA-BORUP: Smart 8 3-3 21, Ness 5 2-4 12, Lindell 2 0-0 4, Ellefson 2 1-2 5, L. Kolness 6 1-2 13, Purrington 0 0-0 0, Narum 0 0-0 0, Kujava 1 0-0 2, Kappes 0 0-0 0, K. Kolness 1 1-2 3. Totals 25 8-13 60.

Half: AB 38, NYM 19. 3-pointers: Welter 2, Kahilainen, Smart 2. Total fouls: NYM 16, AB 14. Rebounds: NYM 33 (Rutten 10). AB 41 (Ness 13). Assists: NYM 10 (Boe 4). AB 15 (Ness 4). Turnovers: NYM 20. AB 11. Steals: NYM 6 (Kahilainen 3). AB 9 (Smart 3).


Readers can reach Forum reporter Kerry Collins at (701) 241-5548.

Collins’ blogs can be found at www.areavoices.com