Cathedral rallies to win
NEW ULM – The New Ulm Cathedral girls basketball team knew that stopping Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop’s Halley Busse would be the main goal.
Busse, a freshman, got her points as she finished with 21 points. But the Greyhounds got the more important stat with a 58-48 come-from-behind victory over the Thunderbirds Monday in Tomahawk Conference action.
The Thunderbirds led for pretty much the entire first half, taking a 28-19 lead into the locker room. But the Greyhounds went into halftime on a 7-1 run and that carried over into the second half.
“Our game plan was we were going to deny her getting the ball and she does a great job of coming off of screens,” Cathedral coach Jeremy Drexler said of defending Busse. “Our next step was to try not to give her any open looks from 3-point range. If she was going to beat us, it was going to have to be by going to the basket.”
The Thunderbirds held the early advantage thanks to a press that gave the Greyhounds fits. But eventually, the Thunderbirds found themselves in foul trouble (GFW committed 26 fouls and Cathedral committed 20) and that seemed to be a big problem for them moving forward.
“They struggled against our pressure, and when you give up ticky tack fouls, we had to go two minutes without our primary ball-handlers, and they went on a 7-1 run,” GFW coach Ryan Jacobson said. “I tell the kids, the most dangerous kid on the team is the one playing with confidence and we gave them a shot of life on their home floor.
“They came out energized in the second half and where that really showed up was rebounding,” Jacobson said.?
Karlee Pfaff scored 18 points and Anne Schwarz finished with 14 points. Pfaff and Schwarz helped lead the comeback for the Greyhounds (1-2), who scored only 47 points in their first two games combined.
“Overall the first two games the girls were trying to find their roles a little bit,” Drexler said. “We’re just trying to find our way and trying to jell as a group. Even in the first half tonight, we didn’t do that well. But we didn’t really do anything different. But we started to make some passes and we started to knock down some shots.”
Schwarz made a three-point play early in the second half to cut the deficit to 28-23. Cathedral eventually took a 30-29 lead with 14:17 left in the second half, and the Greyhounds never trailed again after that.
“Anne just brought us a lot of energy, a lot of offensive rebounds and putbacks to start the second half,” Drexler said. “She helped get some confidence in everybody and we kind of took off from there.”
Pfaff later hit a couple of free throws and a Leah Krzmarzick basket made it 47-41 with 2:54 left in the game.
Megan Laraway scored nine points for the Greyhounds and Kristin Mohr scored eight points.
Mckenzie Elder finished with 12 points for GFW (1-2), which hosts Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart next Tuesday, Dec. 17.
For the Thunderbirds, it was a close game, something that they haven’t seen a lot of the past two seasons.
“A couple years ago and last year, we weren’t in a lot of close games,” Jacobson said. “The more games that you’re in, you gotta find a way to win. Nothing’s going to come easy in this conference.”
Cathedral (1-2) hosts Madelia at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.