Braves, Tigers fall in section playoffs

Barnesville rallies to defeat Menahga while W-H-A defeats Nevis for third time this season as girls basketball tournament begins.

Amanda Lake scrambled to recover a loose ball during Menahga's Section 8AA playoff game against Barnesville on Wednesday, March 17. Vance Carlson / Enterprise

Menahga and Nevis saw their seasons end with losses in their first section girls basketball tournament games on Wednesday, March 17.

Barnesville (the No. 5 seed in the South) overcame a 24-point halftime deficit to defeat Menahga (the No. 4 seed) 61-53 in a Section 8AA game at Menahga. Nevis (the No. 5 seed in the West) was eliminated with a 58-43 loss to No. 4 Walker-Hackensack-Akeley in a Section 5A playoff game at Walker.

Menahga closed the season with a 10-4 record while Nevis ended at 9-10.

Braves lose lead

Momentum can be a fickle thing.

Menahga had all the momentum in the first half by starting the game on a 16-0 run in building a 38-14 lead at the half.


That all changed after the break as Barnesville took control by opening the second half with a 17-0 run to get back in the game. The Trojans kept the momentum going in rallying for the win.

Four inside baskets by Janie Tormanen, 3-pointers by Martha Peterson and Lela Peterson, and a jumper by Lela Peterson gave the Braves a 16-0 lead with 12:55 to play in the first half. A jumper by Amanda Lake and a 3-pointer by Martha Peterson made it 23-4 at the 8:49 mark before a layup and a 3-pointer by Martha Peterson, a jumper by Tormanen, and a 3-pointer by Lela Peterson gave Menahga its largest lead of the game at 33-8 with 1:52 left. A 3-pointer by Lake and a layup by Tormanen made it 38-14 at the intermission.

After struggling from the field in the first half, the Trojans made 16 of 26 shots in the second half to spark the comeback.

Barnesville, which made only 5 of 24 shots and had 14 turnovers in the first half, opened the second half with a pair of three-point plays by Lexi Bolgrean, layups by Samantha Passa and Emily Bredman, and a basket off a rebound by Bredman to cut the deficit to 38-31 with 12:45 remaining.

A 3-pointer by Lake kept Menahga in front 44-32 with 9:15 to play before the Trojans responded with a 19-1 run to take the lead. A three-point play by Kenzie Skogen, three layups by Emily Smith, and layups by Skogen, Bolgrean, Lauren Halverson and Abby John gave Barnesville a 51-45 lead with 3:22 to go.

Maryn Pinoniemi’s layup and Tormanen’s jumper kept the Braves within 56-51 at the 1:15 mark before Barnesville sealed the win by extending the lead to 61-51 with 26 seconds left. A layup by Addie Pinoniemi concluded the scoring.

Tormanen’s 14 points, nine rebounds and four assists led the Braves, who made only 4 of 22 shots in the second half. Lela Peterson (12), Martha Peterson (11) and Lake (11) also scored in double figures for Menahga.

Smith (14), Bolgrean (12) and Bredman (10) led a balanced scoring attack as Barnesville improved to 12-5.


BARNESVILLE: Passa 1 2-4 4, Maesse 1 0-0 3, Bolgrean 5 2-2 12, Bredman 3 4-4 10, Halverson 1 2-4 4, Skogen 2 2-7 6, John 2 4-8 8, Smith 6 2-4 14. Totals: 21 for 50 (FG), 18 for 33 (FT).
MENAHGA: L. Peterson 4 2-4 12, Berttunen 0 0-2 0, M. Peterson 4 0-0 11, Lake 3 3-4 11, Tormanen 7 0-0 14, Anderson 0 0-0 0, M. Pinoniemi 0 1-2 1, A. Pinoniemi 1 0-0 2, Pfeifer 0 2-2 2, Koll 0 0-0 0, Kicker 0 0-0 0. Totals: 19 for 54 (FG), 8 for 14 (FT).
Halftime: Menahga 38, Barnesville 14. Three-pointers: Maesse 1, L. Peterson 2, M. Peterson 3, Lake 3. Team fouls: Barnesville 16, Menahga 23. Fouled out: Bredman, Berttunen, Tormanen, M. Pinoniemi. Rebounds: Menahga 20 (Tormanen 9, Pfeifer 4, Lake 3, L. Peterson 1, M. Pinoniemi 1, Berttunen 1, M. Peterson 1). Assists: Menahga 14 (Tormanen 4, L. Peterson 2, M. Pinoniemi 2, Pfeifer 2, Berttunen 1, M. Peterson 1, Lake 1, Koll 1). Steals: Menahga 10 (L. Peterson 3, Lake 2, Pfeifer 2, M. Peterson 1, Tormanen 1, Anderson 1). Blocked shots: Menahga 2 (M. Peterson 1, Tormanen 1). Turnovers: Barnesville 19, Menahga 14.

Tigers eliminated

Nevis was eliminated from the Section 5A tournament as Walker-Hackensack-Akeley defeated the Tigers for the third time this season.

Ava Isaacson’s 12 points led the Tigers, who trailed 31-19 at the half. Addison Lindow (9), Makenna Frazier (8), Kayli Bessler (8), Mya Stacey (3), Maggie Carrier (2) and Liddy DeWulf (1) rounded out the scoring for Nevis, which made 4 of 19 3-pointers and shot 17 for 56 from the field in the game.

The Wolves, who defeated Nevis 53-44 and 61-56 during the regular season, improved to 8-10.

“Unfortunately for us, this was not a good night for us as far as shooting goes. The stats reflect that clearly. With that said, the girls still made a push in the middle of the second half to bring the game back to within 6 points at one time,” said Nevis head coach Paul Schroeder. “The girls' effort and determination to play hard and never give up was excellent during the whole season. Even though it's hard to end the season this way, I believe our shooting will improve to a more consistent outing each time with a little hard work in the offseason. If that commitment to improve in the offseason is there, this group of girls should have a very good season next year.”


1982 Dawson-Boyd High School graduate
1987 Moorhead State University graduate
Sports reporter for Park Rapids Enterprise since 1987
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