Viborg-Hurley derails Ethan for shot at B title

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HURON – The Viborg-Hurley Cougars earned a return trip to the state championship game with a 52-34 victory over the Ethan Rustlers in the semifinals of the girls’ State B Basketball Tournament at Huron Arena Friday.

The victory moves the Cougars to 22-3 while Ethan falls to 21-3.

The two teams opened shooting well, with Charley Nelson hitting a three for Viborg-Hurley 14 seconds into the game. After a pair of turnovers, Madeline Bartscher knotted the score with a long ball for Ethan.

Nelson got a layup after a steal and then Coral Mason got a put back bucket to give Viborg-Hurley a 7-3 lead.

Annalise Buenning got in deep and made a bucket for Ethan and Leah Klock knocked down a pair of free throws to tie the game at seven apiece at the halfway point of the quarter.

From there, the Cougars went on a 10-2 run the rest of the way, with Nelson and Denae Mach hitting from long range in the run to send Viborg-Hurley into the second quarter leading 17-9.

Ava Lingemann hit a pair of free throws for Ethan to open scoring in the second quarter and Cougars responded with a bucket from Aubree Schwartz and three from Coral Mason to go up 22-11.

Lingemann would hit a runner in the lane with six minutes left in the half, but that would be the last scoring done for either team for three and a half minutes, until Ella Pollreisz hit a basket underneath for the Rustlers.

Nelson hit a three and Mason made a move in the lane to make it 27-15 to close out the half.

The Rustlers opened the second half attacking the Viborg-Hurley defense. Lingemann drove into the lane and pulled up for a short jumper. Buenning made a post move for a basket, and Lingemann hit a three to bring Ethan within 27-22.

Mach hit a jumper and a three for Viborg-Hurley to push the lead back out to 32-23, but Lingemann drove in and drew Mason’s fourth foul. Lingemann hit both free throws.

The Rustlers found Marissa Storm wide open for three and thirty seconds later, Lingemann hit a runner in the lane to make it 32-30 Cougars.

Mach hit a long jumper to send the game into the final frame with Viborg-Hurley ahead 34-30.

With Mason and then Nelson both out with four fouls, the Cougars turned to Mach and Lee to lead the offense, and after a Lee turnaround shot, the Cougars were up 38-32. Mach then hit a three as the shot clock was expiring to give the Cougars a 41-32 lead.

Viborg-Hurley coach Molly Mason re-inserted Mason and Nelson and immediately Nelson paid dividends, hitting a three and then nailing two free throws after being fouled on a steal. Mach added a long three and suddenly the lead was 49-32 with two minutes to go in the game.

A minute later both teams emptied their benches.

The Cougars were led by Mach with 21 points and Nelson with 16 points. Coral Mason hauled down six rebounds and dished out three assists.

Ethan was led by Ava Lingemann with 13 points. Ella Pollreisz grabbed six rebounds for the Rustlers.

Viborg-Hurley will battle Wall for the championship tonight while Ethan will meet top-seeded Wolsey-Wessington for third place.

Viborg-Hurley     17 27 34 52
Ethan           9 15 30 34

Viborg-Hurley (22-3): Charley Nelson 5 2-2 16, Aubree Schwartz 1 0-0 2, Estelle Lee 2 2-2 6, Coral Mason 3 0-0 7, Denae Mach 7 3-4 21. Totals: 18 7-8 52.

Ethan (21-3): Leah Klock 0 2-2 2, Marissa Storm 1 0-0 3, Ava Lingemann 4 4-4 13, Ella Pollreisz 3 0-0 6, Annalise Buenning 3 0-0 6, Madeline Bartscher 1 1-2 4. Totals: 12 7-8 34.

FG: VH - 18/44 41%; E - 12/38 32%. 3-pt FG: VH - 9/26 (Nelson 4, Mach 4, Mason); E - 3/15 (Storm, Lingemann, Bartscher). Rebounds: VH 26 (Mason 6), E 20 (Pollreisz 6). Assists: VH 3 (Mason 3), E 4 (Lingemann, Pollreisz 2). Steals: VH 9 (Mach 4), E 8 (Storm 2). Turnovers: VH 9, E 11. Fouls: VH 13, E 14 (Pollreisz out).