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Published February 09 2010

Collins: Eagles girls flying high

For the last couple of years, the New York Mills girls basketball teams watched their season end in the Class 1A, Section 6 tournament under the crush of the Ada-Borup steamroller.

Now the Eagles might be the team with one of the most feared lineups in Section 6.

Behind Hannah Rutten, Alicia Boe and a senior-laden supporting cast, New York Mills has put together a 16-1 season and could be a force in the postseason.

“Maybe we have a chance now that Ada-Borup isn’t quite so dominant,” NYM coach Dave Paavola said with a laugh. “But we knew this year, we would have a chance for sure.”

Rutten averages 22.7 points per game, and Boe averages 18.0, giving the Eagles as good a 1-2 scoring punch as you can find.

And they’re tough to match up against. Rutten is a senior post standing

6-foot-1, and Boe is a 5-11 point guard.

Rutten is just 37 points away from 2,000 in her career going into tonight’s game at Ulen-Hitterdal.

“They have a lot of length, and they’re very tough to guard,” Paavola said. “But they can also both run the floor, so their a tough matchup for a lot of teams.”

The Eagles have six seniors on their roster, and Paavola said seeing Ada-Borup’s recipe for success up close the last couple

of years has shown his players what they need

to do to achieve that high level of success – especially on defense.

“We still talk about that team in practice,” Paavola said. “They were so quick and so good, they were like a machine.

“They showed that defense is the key, and they were one of the best at it.”

The Eagles aren’t exactly a slouch on defense, either, giving up just 47.7 points per game.

However, with Rutten and Boe, offense seems to be New York Mills’ big thing. The Eagles are averaging 68.9 points per game this season, which is the fourth-highest in all of Class 1A.

Even though everything is rosy in New York Mills right now, Paavola said his team isn’t taking anything for granted.

After all, the section should be a tight battle with the likes of Parkers Prairie, Hancock, Brandon-Evansville, Norman County East and Ada-Borup all playing very well.

“It’s a tough section, and even our sub-section is tough,” Paavola said.

“But we have an experienced group, and we feel like we have a great chance.”

Spuds’ Stenerson pulls even with Reitz

With six games left in the regular season, Moorhead standout Ashley Stenerson needed 12 points to tie Tanaya Reitz on the Spuds’ all-time scoring list for girls hockey.

Stenerson needed just four games to catch her. After getting shutout against Roseau, Stenerson has packed in 12 points into the last four games, the senior had two four-point games in that stretch. That sets up some intrigue for tonight’s regular-season finale.

The puck drops at 5:15 p.m. at Moorhead Sports Center. Stenerson needs just one point against Alexandria tonight to hold the record herself.

“She’s pretty good,” Spuds coach Jim MacFarlane said with a laugh. “It’s impressive to see what she’s been able

to do. There has to be some pressure, but she’s handled it.”

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