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Chris Murphy, Published December 13 2012

Rebels hand Vikings their first loss

GLYNDON, Minn. – Pelican Rapids’ Lizzie Pfeifle drained a jumper to pull the Vikings within three of Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton with just under nine minutes remaining in Thursday’s Heart O’Lakes Conference girls basketball clash.

D-G-F brought up the ball and center Katie Highness got it beyond the 3-point line, but no Pelican Rapids defender followed her, so she dribbled and dribbled and dribbled. For four minutes and 34 seconds, Highness dribbled near half-court and no one came near her. The Vikings were not budging on their double-team of Sierra Senske, and the Rebels were more than happy to hold for what seemed like the last shot with a 3-point lead.

All things must come to an end, however, as the Pelican Rapids defense eventually made a move and D-G-F immediately called a timeout. Out of the timeout, Highness found herself alone yet again outside the 3-point arc, so she decided to earn her shot some respect and bury what she thinks was her second career 3-pointer. It gave the Rebels a six-point lead en route to a 55-50 win.

“It felt like forever,” Highness said. “My hand went numb from dribbling and I actually forgot at points that I was dribbling the ball. It was a bit downgrading. Everyone was yelling for me to shoot the second time around, but I was waiting for my coach to say and he said it, so I shot it.”

It certainly was not a play D-G-F coach Tom Critchley Jr. had drawn up.

“That’s the second time in my career I’ve done that to be honest with you, but the last one was like two minutes,” Critchley said. “It was crazy. Her hitting the shot was just fate. I told the girls in the timeout to not let me down because I was going to look foolish if we didn’t win.”

Pelican Rapids coach Brian Korf will certainly be campaigning for a rule change in high school basketball.

“I’d love a shot clock for many reasons,” Korf said. “To be honest, I was getting my kids some rest. I played seven players and we needed the rest.”

Pelican Rapids (4-1, 2-1) came into the game as road warriors, winning three of its four games on the road by at least 39 points. It took D-G-F (4-2, 2-0) nearly four minutes to score, but after going up 5-4 thanks to a Brooke Honek 3-pointer, the Rebels never trailed. The Rebels overcame 15 turnovers and gave the Vikings 14 free-throw attempts in the first half to get the victory.

“It’s a big win,” Critchley Jr. said. “We just want to keep getting better. With Sierra (Senske) in foul trouble, we just need people to step up.”

D-G-F got support from everywhere, as seven Rebels tallied points with Mandy Mercil leading the way with 11 and Honek and Highness chipping in nine each. The Rebels were a different team in the second half, fouling Pelican Rapids just five times and turning the ball over only four times.

“They are too good of a team to build up their confidence with easy buckets,” Critchley Jr. said. “We had to hold on to the basketball. You work too hard on the defensive end to just give it right back to them.”

D (4-2): Molstre 1-5-6 8, Highness 3-2-3 9, Senske 3-0-0 6, Mercil 3-5-13 11, Honek 4-0-0 9, Geiser 4-0-0 8, Oberg 3-0-0 4.

P (4-1): Madison Korf 3-2-2 11, Mackenzie Korf 8-0-0 20, Haiby 0-4-6 4, Weinrich 3-6-6 12, Pfeifle 1-1-2 3.

Half: D 35, P 30. 3-point goals: Highness 1, Molstre 1, Honek 1, Madison Korf 3, Mackenzie Korf 4. Total fouls: D 17, P 16. Rebounds: M 33 (Mercil 11, Senske 6, Honek 5), P 20 (Haiby 4). Turnovers: D 19, P 20.


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Chris Murphy at (701) 241-5548