Chargers knock the wind out of BLHS

NEW ULM – The Minnesota Valley Lutheran Chargers girls basketball team literally knocked the wind out of the Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart Mustangs Friday night.

For the second game in a row, the Chargers took a small halftime lead and turned it into a big second half lead by turning on the jets, this time knocking off the Mustangs 65-52.

Even some of the BLHS girls admitted to coach James Bertsch they were gassed in the second half.

“We do need conditioning,” Bertsch said. “Some of the girls told me we need to run more during practice. But tonight our intensity wasn’t there. We need to find out who’s going to step up and be our outside shooter. We were 0-for-12 tonight from three point range but we did shoot 47 percent from two point range and that’s up from what we did last year.”

For long time MVL watchers, the Chargers 12-2 run that opened the second half was nothing unusual after making halftime adjustments.

“It was kind of a feeling out process in the first half,” MVL coach Dave Biedenbender said. “Then in the second half, we know what we can do.”

The Chargers Alexa Alfred and the Mustangs Michelle Melsha were the only scorers early as MVL took a 8-5 lead. Anna Munsen then hit consecutive turnaround layups to make it 12-5.

BLHS had trouble controlling the ball, with eight turnovers in the early going, but MVL wasn’t really able to capitalize on the sloppiness because their own outside shooting was cold and they were only able to score five points off ten total Mustangs miscues.

The BLHS offense in the first half went almost totally through Melsha in the middle. Up 22-12 after three-pointers from Nicole Moldstad and Charlotte Pfingsten, Melsha scored nine of her 18 first half points and keep the Mustangs in the game and closing the gap to a 30-26 Chargers halftime margin.

As soon as BLHS took the opening possession of the second half and turned the ball over, it was MVL showtime. Munsen scored four and Mariah Stein had consecutive fast break layups that moved the score to 42-28.

With 7:33 left in the game, the Chargers were up 56-36 and Melsha hadn’t scored a point. After a trey by Moldstad made it 62-38, the Mustangs would score 10 in a row, but after re-inserting three starters, Biedenbender made sure the uprising ended and there were just five more points in the game.

Melsha led all scorers with 22, with Mara Olinger adding 10 for BLHS. Munsen scored 18 for MVL, with Alfred adding 14 and Moldstad contributing 13.

The Chargers host Springfield at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, while the Mustangs travel to take on Cedar Mountain/Comfrey in Morgan at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

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