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Section 6A-South girls' basketball: Brandon-Evansville falls

Megan Friedrich (dark uniform) was knocked to the ground by a Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa player during Brandon-Evansville's playoff game against the Jaguars. The Chargers came away with a 49-44 win in their first game of the Section 6A-South basketball playoffs, but fell in the second round to Underwood, ending their season. Lori Mork, Echo Press

The Brandon-Evansville girls saw their season come to an end on Saturday against Little Eight Conference foe Underwood.

The Rockets' size down low proved to be too much as Carly Masloski and Greta Thormodson combined for 37 points in leading their team to a 67-45 win in the Section 6A South semifinals. That came after the Chargers had worked their way there with a 49-44 win over Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa in the quarterfinals last Thursday.

"We ran into a better team with more size and experience," Chargers head coach Dick Simpson said. "They start four seniors and every one of their players is bigger than ours. We were only down three at the half and were ahead for a little bit, but the second half they got the ball inside more."

That size down low allowed the Rockets to shoot high-percentage shots all night. They finished 30-of-51 from the field, compared to a 16-of-41 shooting night for Brandon-Evansville.

Megan Friedrich was the only player in double figures for the Chargers. She had 11. Carrigan Okerlund added nine, while Carlie Steffenson and Megan Kokett had eight and seven points, respectively. Underwood dominated the glass, out-rebounding Brandon-Evansville 36-14.

"As the game went on, the physical nature just kind of wore on us and we didn't handle their half-court press very well," Simpson said. "It was mostly inside stuff. The second half, they just got all kinds of shots inside."

The Chargers were able to be more effective defensively in their win over BBE a couple nights earlier. The Jaguars were held to 38 percent shooting (18-47). That allowed Brandon-Evansville to survive in a low scoring affair.

"We played really well defensively that night," Simpson said. "That was a good win for us. We held their post players down and got some good scoring off the bench with Elizabeth Vinson coming in and getting 11 points."

Vinson was one of two players in double figures for the Chargers. Steffenson was the other as she finished with a team-high 12. Kokett and Emily Friedrich each had eight points as well.

The loss to Underwood wrapped up a season that saw the Chargers finish 15-10 overall and 7-5 in the Little Eight Conference. They went 15-5 in their last 20 games after starting the season with a five-game losing streak against good teams in Osakis, Hancock, Parkers Prairie, Underwood and Barnesville.

"This might be one of the teams that has improved the most for me over the course of a year," Simpson said. "We kind of went into the season thinking how are we going to score? We had a rough start, but since then we've gone 15-5...I think we won the games that we had a chance to win. Our kids were really coachable and they really surprised me, improving as much as they did. They played as a team. It was really a fun year."


UNDERWOOD 29 38 - 67

B-E 26 19 - 45

TOTALS - B-E - FG - 16-41; FT - 7-12; Rebounds - 14; Steals - 12; Assists - 10; Turnovers - 18; Underwood - FG - 30-51; FT - 5-8; Rebounds - 36; Turnovers - 16

B-E - Kokett - 7 points, 4 steals; Steffenson - 8 points; M. Friedrich - 11 points, 4 steals; Okerlund - 9 points; Vinson - 4 points; E. Friedrich - 5 points; Kristine Betterman - 1 point

UNDERWOOD - Karlea Thorson - 5; Krista Aasness - 4; Karin Mortenson - 4; Megan Biegler - 8; Masloski - 24; Kaitlyn Holen - 5; Brooke Tinjum - 4; Thormodson - 13

BBE 17 27 - 44

B-E 19 30 - 49

TOTALS - BBE - FG - 18-47; FT - 6-8; Rebounds - 23; Turnovers - 13; B-E - FG - 15-34; FT - 12-21; Rebounds - 23; Steals - 11; Assists - 13; Turnovers - 19

B-E - Kokett - 8 points; Steffenson - 12 points; M. Friedrich - 6 points, 4 steals, 3 assists; Vinson - 11 points; Hansen - 4 points, 5 assists, 3 steals; E. Friedrich - 8 points

BBE - Mariah Rach - 6; Brittany Roelike - 11; Kinlee Swanson - 3; Peyton Miller - 3; Taylor Braegelman - 8; Hailey Braegelman - 6; Megan Weller - 2; Becca Gruber - 5

Eric Morken

Eric Morken is the sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.

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