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Eric Peterson, Published March 05 2013

Ada-Borup girls power past New York Mills

MOORHEAD – Trademark pressure defense put Ada-Borup in another customary situation – a chance to play for a trip to the state tournament.

The Cougars forced 37 turnovers against New York Mills on Tuesday. That stingy effort sparked No. 8-ranked Ada-Borup to a 67-39 victory in the Minnesota Class 1A, Section 6 semifinals at Memorial Auditorium.

The victory gave the Cougars (25-3) the North Sub-Section championship and a spot in the section finals. Ada-Borup has earned sub-section crowns in seven of the past eight seasons.

“I think it’s a tribute to our kids,” said Ada-Borup head coach David Smart. “We’ve had a lot of kids put in a lot of time. It’s nice to see when they are rewarded because that doesn’t always happen. … Hopefully, we can turn this sub-section championship into a section championship.”

New York Mills (11-14) had a tough time with the Ada-Borup pressure from the outset, committing 14 turnovers in the opening eight minutes. The Cougars built a double-digit lead for good less than 11 minutes into the first half.

“With Ada-Borup, it always comes down to handling the pressure,” said New York Mills head coach JJ Weller. “With their defense, they are always tight on you. They never give you a break. It’s handling that and being able to set up the halfcourt offense.”

New Yorks Mills scored the game’s first two points for its only lead before the Cougars countered with 11 consecutive points. Ada-Borup junior Heidi Eggen scored five points during that early scoring burst. Eggen capped the rally with a basket that gave the Cougars an 11-2 lead with 12 minutes, 46 seconds to play in the first half. The Eagles were forced to play catch up after that stretch.

“We really focus on tough defense, making them have more turnovers,” said Cougars senior Megan Kolness, who scored 17 points and added eight rebounds. “I thought we played really good team defense.”

New York Mills sophomore Ellie Rutten paced her team with 14 points to eclipse 1,000 for her career. Rutten has 1,002 points through her sophomore season.

“Our goal was to get here,” said Weller, whose team has one senior. “I’m just proud of my team.”

NEW YORK MILLS (11-14): L. Rutten 3 2-6 8, E. Roberts 4 3-12 12, Kempenich 0 0-0 0, M. Roberts 0 0-0 0, E. Rutten 4 6-7 14, Irons 2 0-0 5, Barvels 0 0-0 0, Honer 0 0-0 0, White 0 0-0 0, Witt 0 0-0 0, Flannigan 0 0-0 0, Kane 0 0-0 0, Imsande 0 0-0 0. Totals 13 11-25 39.

ADA-BORUP (25-3): Stevenson 1 0-0 3, Vega 4 0-1 8, Kolness 6 3-4 17, Eggen 4 2-4 10, Gehrtz 1 2-2 4, Hal. Poehler 5 0-0 10, Merkens 2 0-4 4, Lee 5 1-4 11, Han. Poehler 0 0-2 0, Miller 0 0-0 0, Erickson 0 0-0 0, Birkemeyer 0 0-0 0. Totals 28 8-21 67.

Half: AB 30, NYM 16. 3-point goals: E. Roberts, Irons, Stevenson, Kolness 2. Total fouls: NYM 17, AB 19. Rebounds: NYM 34 (E. Rutten 7), AB 41 (Hal. Poehler 9). Turnovers: NYM 37, AB 18.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blog can be found

at peterson.areavoices.com