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Nevis' Katie Becker and Blackduck's Alex Ziegler (in white) battled for a loose ball during last Friday night's game at the Tiger Arena.

Defense triggers Tigers' triumphs

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A 29-5 run to open the game sparked the Nevis girls basketball team to a 63-27 Northwoods Conference win over Blackduck last Friday night at the Tiger Arena.

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Two inside baskets apiece by Bettsy Hjelseth, Megan Norby and Riley Hanson led the Tigers to a 13-2 lead before a layup by Norby, a basket off a rebound by Jordan Walters, two layups by Hjelseth and two inside baskets by Hanson pushed the lead to 25-5 with 4:08 to play in the first half.

A jumper by Hanson, a layup by Walters, a jumper by Norby and a jumper by Karly Drury gave Nevis a 33-12 advantage at the half.

Blackduck cut the gap to 35-20 with 15:02 to play before the Tigers responded with a 24-0 run. After a jumper by Hanson, Nevis' pressure led to four straight layups by Norby. Two baskets apiece by Katie Becker and Drury, a layup by Mattie Hjelseth and a jumper by Norby extended the lead to 59-20 with 5:31 to play. Baskets by Katherine Anderson and Walters closed out the scoring for Nevis.

Norby finished with 20 points and six rebounds while Hanson added 12 points and four steals. Bettsy Hjelseth led Nevis with 10 rebounds while Drury finished with eight rebounds.

The win lifted Nevis to 9-5 in the conference while Blackduck fell to 2-12 in conference games and 3-18 overall.

NEVIS: Norby 9 2-3 20, Dierkhising 0 0-0 0, Hanson 6 0-0 12, Walters 3 0-1 6, Drury 3 0-0 6, M. Hjelseth 2 0-0 4, B. Hjelseth 4 0-0 8, Becker 2 1-2 5, Ahrendt 0 0-0 0, Anderson 1 0-0 2. Totals: 30 for 59 (FG), 3 for 6 (FT).

Halftime: Nevis 33, Blackduck 12. Rebounds: Nevis 39 (B. Hjelseth 10, Drury 8, Norby 6, Hanson 5, Dierkhising 2, Walters 2, M. Hjelseth 2, Becker 2, Ahrendt 1, Anderson 1). Assists: Nevis 4 (Dierkhising 2, Hanson 2). Steals: Nevis 11 (Hanson 4, Walters 2, Dierkhising 1, M. Hjelseth 1, B. Hjelseth 1, Becker 1, Norby 1). Blocked shots: Nevis 3 (B. Hjelseth 2, Hanson 1). Team fouls: Nevis 20. Turnovers: Nevis 3.

Tigers rally by Browerville

Norby and Bettsy Hjelseth posted double-doubles as the Tigers rallied for a 55-52 win at Browerville last Saturday.

Norby finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds while Bettsy Hjelseth added 11 points and 12 rebounds to spark the Tigers, who overcame a 34-21 halftime deficit.

Nevis improved to 17-8 while Browerville fell to 5-18.

NEVIS: Norby 8 8-15 24, Dierkhising 0 3-4 3, Walters 1 0-0 2, Drury 2 2-2 6, M. Hjelseth 3 1-2 7, B. Hjelseth 4 3-6 11, Becker 1 0-1 2. Totals: 19 for 62 (FG), 17 for 30 (FT).

Halftime: Browerville 34, Nevis 21. Rebounds: Nevis 32 (B. Hjelseth 12, Norby 10, Drury 4, Dierkhising 3, Walters 2, M. Hjelseth 1). Assists: Nevis 1 (Drury 1). Steals: Nevis 8 (Norby 2, Walters 2, M. Hjelseth 2, B. Hjelseth 1, Becker 1). Blocked shots: Nevis 3 (Norby 1, M. Hjelseth 1, B. Hjelseth). Turnovers: Nevis 9.

C-G defeats Tigers

Clearbrook-Gonvick locked up second place in the Northwoods Conference standings with a 69-60 win over Nevis on Feb. 14.

Norby's 27 points and seven rebounds led Nevis. Hanson added 16 points and six rebounds while Mattie Hjelseth grabbed six rebounds for the Tigers.

Clearbrook-Gonvick improved to 11-1 in conference games and 17-5 overall. Pine River-Backus is atop the conference standings with a 12-0 record.

NEVIS: Norby 12 3-4 27, Dierkhising 2 0-0 6, Hanson 7 2-3 16, Walters 1 0-0 3, Drury 0 0-0 0, M. Hjelseth 1 2-2 4, B. Hjelseth 2 0-4 4, Becker 0 0-0 0. Totals: 25 for 49 (FG), 7 for 13 (FT).

Halftime: C-G 36, Nevis 27. Three-point field goals: Dierkhising 2, Walters 1. Rebounds: Nevis 27 (Norby 7, Hanson 6, M. Hjelseth 6, B. Hjelseth 4, Becker 2, Walters 1, Drury 1). Assists: Nevis 5 (Walters 2, Norby 1, B. Hjelseth 1, Becker 1). Steals: Nevis 4 (Norby 1, Hanson 1, B. Hjelseth 1, Becker 1). Blocked shots: Nevis 1 (Hanson). Team fouls: Nevis 19. Turnovers: Nevis 20.

Nevis receives No. 3 seed

Nevis received the No. 3 seed in the West half of Section 5A and will open the playoffs by hosting No. 6 Menahga Thursday night at 7 p.m.

The Tigers edged Menahga 51-50 in their only meeting this season.

The Section 5A tournament begins Monday night with No 7 Browerville hosting No. 10 Swanville and No. 8 Verndale hosting No. 9 Eagle Valley. The winner of the Verndale vs. Eagle Valley game plays at No. 1 Upsala Thursday night while the winner of the Browerville vs. Swanville game plays at No. 2 Sebeka Thursday night. No. 4 Bertha-Hewitt hosts No. 5 Walker-Hackensack-Akeley in the other game Thursday night.

The West semifinals move to Wadena next Saturday night with the West championship game set for March 6 at a site to be determined.

The top seeds in the East half of the bracket are No. 1 Isle, No. 2 Pine River-Backus, No. 3 Ogilvie and No. 4 Royalton.

Crosby will host the Section 5A championship game on March 9.

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