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Chris Murphy, Published January 26 2013

Ada-Borup winning streak snapped by Parkers Prairie

MOORHEAD – In a battle of two top 10 Minnesota Class 1A teams, No. 7-ranked Parkers Prairie outlasted No. 5 Ada-Borup 48-44 at Concordia’s Memorial Auditorium Saturday.

If all the cards fall into place, there’s a good chance these two teams will meet in the Class 1A, Section 6 championship. Good thing the Cougars didn’t show all their cards Saturday. Then again, both teams could be saving the ace in their sleeves for the next meeting with a trip to the state tournament on the line.

“It was a game where neither team wanted to show everything,” Ada-Borup coach David Smart said. “They are on the other side of the section, so it was kind of a feel-out game. We both learned something. Hopefully, we get a chance to play again.”

The biggest lead for either team Saturday was six points, which Parkers Prairie (17-0) had with 36.6 seconds remaining at 46-40.

On the ensuing possession Heidi Eggen nailed a layup while being fouled to make it a 46-42 game. Eggen missed the free throw, but Haley Poehler hauled in the rebound and scored to make it a 46-44.

Panthers forward Madison Dorn split a pair of free throws with 11.8 seconds left, but Monica Vega’s tying 3-pointer with five seconds remaining rimmed out.

The loss snapped Ada-Borup’s nine-game winning streak, during which the Cougars (12-2) had beaten teams by an average of more than 35 points.

“This was our biggest test,” Smart said. “We found out we got some girls that can hit some jump shots when they need to. Some girls that have been really struggling stepped up tonight.”

Whereas Dorn and Micaela Noga scored 34 of Parker Prairie’s 48 points, Ada-Borup spread the ball around. Poehler had 10 points, Megan Kolness had 10 points – to go along with eight rebounds – while Eggen added eight points and Shaina Stevenson chipped in seven points.

“We learned that everybody needs to step up and rotate on defense,” Kolness said. “This game doesn’t really count as much. It’s just kind of a test to see where we’re at in the season. It’s only January, so we still have a month before playoffs. We need to step up a little bit. Sections will be better.”

Both teams may have not wanted to divulge game strategies, but in the early going, neither team wanted to score, as the game opened up with seven missed field goals in the first three minutes of the game. Dorn made it a 13-12 game with two of her game-high 18 points with 8 minutes, 30 seconds left in the first half.

The Panthers never trailed from there, but there were five ties and the Panthers’ biggest lead was six points after taking the lead.

“They ran a man defense last year and tonight they did a zone, so we really didn’t show them our man offense,” Kolness said. “Our running game was down this game. We’ll work on that. Nothing really big drastically needs to change.”

Maybe it’s more complex than a card game.

“Defense was out of position and we gave them some easy baskets,” Smart said. “It was kind of a chess game. We had some offenses we could have run against that zone, but we didn’t know what we wanted to show them.”

A (12-2): Stevenson 3 1-1 8, Vega 1 2-2 4, Gehrtz 0 2-2 2, Kolness 4 0-0 10, Eggen 4 0-1 6, Poehler 4 2-2 10, Merkens 1 0-0 2.

P (17-0): Dorn 5 6-8 18, Noga 5 5-7 16, Taylor 1 2-3 4, Warren 1 2-3 4, Swanson 2 0-0 5, R. Warren 0 1-2 1.

Half: P 22, A 18. 3-point goals: Stevenson 1, Kolness 2, Dorn 1, Noga 1, Swanson 1. Total fouls: P 10, A 15. Rebounds: P 24 (Dorn 7, Noga 6), A 20 (Kolness 8). Turnovers: P 9, A 10.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Chris Murphy at (701) 241-5548