Cougars hold off Chargers
By Jake Calhoun
Journal Sports Writer
NEW ULM – All Courtney Nelsen did was keep her head up.
After shooting 20 percent from the field in a loss to Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s on Tuesday, Nelsen’s 23 points led Cedar Mountain/Comfrey to a 60-51 victory against Minnesota Valley Lutheran on Friday night.
The win snapped a two-game losing skid for the Cougars (7-3, 4-3 Tomahawk).
“We stayed positive the whole game,” Nelsen said. “We really didn’t get down like we usually do. We worked on a lot of shooting drills, which helped us.”
The Cougars shot 36 percent (18-of-50) from the field and 46.2 percent (6-of-13) from 3-point range. Nelsen was hot from beyond the arc, nailing 3-of-4 in the first half and 4-of-5 overall.
“I think her playing a good defensive game got her going offensively,” said CM/C coach Mike Kelly of Nelsen. “She was more focused tonight and she played a whale of a game for us.”
This was the first conference loss of the season for the Chargers (7-2, 4-1), ending their three-game winning streak.
MVL’s last lead of the entire game came early in the first half after Charlotte Pfingsten’s second 3-pointer made it 8-7. CM/C regained the lead, however, and proceeded to disrupt MVL’s flow offensively.
“They played real good man-to-man defense and they sagged and held quite a bit on our inside girls,” said MVL coach David Biedenbender. “Our girls just never adjusted to that. We kept trying to force it in where it wasn’t and [weren’t] being patient with what we were doing.”
Anna Munsen led the Chargers with 15 points, which included a 7-of-10 stand from the free-throw line. Alexa Alfred joined Pfingsten in each adding 11 points.
The Chargers pulled to within six points at 37-31 after a free throw by Johanna Kettner, but a 7-0 CM/C run widened the gap to 13.
MVL’s 12-6 run down the anxious stretch of the second half narrowed the lead to 50-43.
When the Chargers started fouling to stop the clock, the Cougars sealed the win with 10 free throws.
“It will help them a lot, but once again it’s going to come down to how we shoot the basketball,” Kelly said. “One night, we shoot well and the next night all of a sudden we don’t shoot well. But getting a big win against MVL, that should give us some confidence.”
MVL will play at Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart, while CM/C will host Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop. Both games will tip off at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
CM/C 30 30 – 60
MVL 19 32 – 51
CMC: Courtney Nelsen 23 7-13 5-7, Andrea Ochs 12 4-14 3-6, Lauren Boyle 9 2-6 5-10, Brianna Lund 8 2-3 4-11.
MVL: Anna Munsen 15 4-12 7-10, Charlotte Pfingsten 11 3-12 2-4, Alexa Alfred 11 2-6 7-8, Nicole Moldstad 8 3-7 2-2.