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Cold shooting dooms Chargers

Brandon-Evansville’s Emma Friedrich battles for position on the block during the playoff opener against Battle Lake last Thursday night. Friedrich finished with a game-high 27 points in a loss for the Chargers. (Blaze Fugina/Echo Press)

Emily Friedrich led with 27 points, but cold outside shooting from the Brandon-Evansville girls’ basketball team was too much to overcome in a 49-34 loss to Battle Lake in the subsection quarterfinals Thursday in Evansville.

Friedrich was able to lead the Chargers scoring despite playing inside against a taller Battle Lake team. She attributed much of the success to getting the ball at the right times.

“Our team did a good job of passing it to me and setting me up and it just went in,” Friedrich said.

The rest of the Chargers struggled to get open looks against Battle Lake’s defense. Brandon-Evansville combined to only shoot 1-for-13 from three-point range.

“They are a little taller at all the positions, and they didn’t give us any good looks from three,” head coach Dick Simpson said. “We’ve got some pretty good three point shooters, and they covered us pretty well on that.”

Emily Marso led Battle Lake with 19 points, and Katie Rilla also finished in double-digit scoring with 12.

The Chargers were thrown off by a defensive change for the Battlers that put some added pressure on the perimeter shooting. In their two regular season matchups Battle Lake played a 1-3-1 zone against Brandon-Evansville, but on Thursday the Battlers switched to a man defense.

“They played a different defense,” senior guard Megan Kokett said. “We practice all week on that same defense and then they changed it.”

A lack of production at the free throw line also did not do Brandon-Evansville any favors. They combined to shoot 7-16 on free throws.

“We got within five, and if we made some free throws earlier we would have been tied and you would play the whole game differently,” Simpson said. “Give Battle Lake credit, they played pretty well.”

The Battlers also had plenty of support from fans who made the half hour trip south to Evansville, easing a home court advantage for the Chargers.

“Their crowd was really pumped up, and they came ready to play,” Friedrich said. “Our shots weren’t going in very much, and it just didn’t go our way.”

Brandon-Evansville finished the season 14-12 overall. Battle Lake advanced to play West Central Area last Saturday evening at the University of Minnesota-Morris.


BATTLE LAKE 24 25 – 49


B-E – Emily Friedrich – 27 points, 8 rebounds; Megan Kokett – 2 points; Carrigan Okerlund – 3 points; Mariah Hansen – 2 points

BATTLE LAKE – Maddie Stueve – 4 points; Maddy Merickel – 6 points; Carly VanWatermulen – 6 points; Olivia Hull – 2 points; Katie Rilla – 12 points, 10 rebounds; Emily Marso – 19 points, 11 rebounds

Blaze Fugina

Blaze Fugina is the sports editor of the Woodbury and South Washington County Bulletin newspapers. Previously, Blaze worked as a sports editor for the Pierce County Herald and a sports reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in May of 2011. You can follow Blaze on Twitter at @BlazeFugina.

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