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Nevis' Riley Hanson (left) tried to steal the ball from Menahga's Shelby Pihlaja during Tuesday night's game at the Tiger Arena.
Nevis' Riley Hanson (left) tried to steal the ball from Menahga's Shelby Pihlaja during Tuesday night's game at the Tiger Arena.

Tigers hold back Braves

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sports Park Rapids, 56470

Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

It was a down-to-the-wire battle between the Nevis and Menahga girls basketball teams Tuesday night.

Nevis went on an 18-0 run starting right before halftime to take control before holding off a late Menahga rally in a 62-58 victory at the Tiger Arena.

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This game was close the entire first half as the Tigers carried a 29-26 lead into the break.

A layup and 3-pointer by Megan Norby and two inside baskets by Rilee Hanson gave Nevis a 9-6 lead at the 12:10 mark. Shelby Pihlaja had three layups for the Braves.

Menahga followed with a 13-4 run as layups by Hannah Allebach and Jenny Skoog, a pair of layups by Pihlaja, and a 3-pointer by Jen Stifter produced a 19-13 lead with 6:56 to play in the first half.

A 3-pointer and layup by Norby, a layup by Kate Dierkhising and a jumper by Karly Drury gave the Tigers a 24-20 edge with 3:06 to play before a basket off a rebound by Allebach and a layup by Pihlaja gave Menahga a 26-24 advantage with 1:26 remaining.

The Tigers took the lead before halftime as Diana Schuldt hit a 3-pointer and Jordan Walters drove in for a layup for a 29-26 edge.

That was the start of an 18-0 run as Norby opened the second half with a 3-pointer, a three-point play and a layup. A jumper by Mattie Hjelseth gave the Tigers a 42-26 cushion with 13:12 to play.

Tarah Cleveland hit a 3-pointer at the 11:53 mark and Skoog followed with a layup and a three-point play as the Braves sliced the deficit to 45-39 with 9:10 to go.

A layup off a steal by Hanson and a layup by Norby pushed the Tigers' lead to 52-42 with 6:17 remaining. A basket off a rebound by Hanson and a three-point play by Norby made it 58-47 with 2:24 to go.

Menahga mounted a late comeback as 3-pointers by Cleveland and Stifter, a layup by Stifter and a jumper by Skoog closed the margin to 60-58 with 17 seconds to go.

Free throws by Walters and Norby in the final 11 seconds sealed the win.

Norby's 34 points, 12 rebounds and three steals led the Tigers, who snapped a five-game losing streak and improved to 4-6 on the season. Hanson pulled down 13 rebounds and had three assists and three steals.

Pihlaja (17), Stifter (14) and Cleveland (11) hit double figures for the Braves. Skoog pulled down 10 rebounds and had four assists while Cleveland had five steals and Pihlaja and Stifter had seven rebounds apiece as Menahga fell to 5-6 on the season.

MENAHGA: Pihlaja 7 2-3 17, Stifter 3 6-12 14, Cleveland 3 3-4 11, Allebach 4 1-5 9, J. Skoog 3 1-3 7, S. Skoog 0 0-0 0, Carlson 0 0-0 0, Kako 0 0-0 0, Anderson 0 0-0 0. Totals: 24 for 59 (FG), 13 for 27 (FT).

NEVIS: Norby 11 9-14 34, Hanson 4 1-7 9, Walters 1 3-10 5, Drury 2 1-4 5, Dierkhising 1 2-2 4, Schuldt 1 0-0 3, Hjelseth 1 0-0 2. Totals: 21 for 49 (FG), 16 for 37 (FT).

Halftime: Nevis 29, Menahga 26. Three-point field goals: Pihlaja 1, Stifter 2, Cleveland 2, Norby 3, Schuldt 1. Team fouls: Menahga 23, Nevis 19. Fouled out: Allebach, S. Skoog, Hjelseth. Rebounds: Menahga 32 (J. Skoog 10, Pihlaja 7, Stifter 7, Cleveland 3, Allebach 3, S. Skoog 1, Kako 1); Nevis 36 (Hanson 13, Norby 12, Hjelseth 6, Dierkhising 2, Walters 1, Drury 1, Schuldt 1). Assists: Menahga 14 (Stifter 4, J. Skoog 4, Pihlaja 3, Cleveland 1, Allebach 1, S. Skoog 1); Nevis 8 (Hanson 3, Norby 2, Walters 2, Hjelseth 1). Steals: Menahga 10 (Cleveland 5, Stifter 2, Allebach 2, Pihlaja 1); Nevis 10 (Norby 3, Hanson 3, Walters 2, Dierkhising 2). Blocked shots: Menahga 2 (J. Skoog 2); Nevis 2 (Hanson 1, Hjelseth 1). Turnovers: Menahga 17, Nevis 21.

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