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Girls basketball: Alexandria puts together a strong wire-to-wire win over Mahtomedi

The Cardinals took a 10-0 lead in the first 3:50 of the game and never relinquished their lead as they won 54-47 on Friday in their second game at the Granite City Classic.

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Alexandria's Camree Miller (center), Chloe Scholl (far right) and Allie Haabala (back right) after she made a layup while being fouled in a game against Mahtomedi on Dec. 30, 2022, at the Granite City Classic.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press
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ST. JOSEPH - The Alexandria girls basketball team came out of the gates hot in its game at the Breakdown’s Granite City Classic on Friday against Mahtomedi.

The Cardinals started on a 10-0 run in the first 3:50 of the game and never looked back. The Cardinals never trailed in the game and won it 54-47.

“It was a really good start for us,” Alexandria’s Allie Haabala said. “We play our best when we start out strong, and this was a great start for us.”

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Alexandria's Hadley Thul puts up a layup around a host of Mahtomedi players during a game at the Granite City Classic on Dec. 30, 2022. Thul had a game-high 19 points for Alexandria in the 54-47 win.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press


Alexandria built off of its fast start as it led 29-19 at halftime.

Alexandria head coach Wendy Kohler expected Mahtomedi to play aggressively defensively and to be in their face all game long.

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The Cardinals felt like they handled the Zephyrs' pressure well.

“We were able to stay calm and work for each other,” Haabala said. “Our patience really helped us offensively.”

The Cardinals (5-3) led by as much as 13 in the game, and while the Zephyrs (5-3) did string together a couple of solid sequences to cut into the Cardinals' lead, the Cardinals remained strong and didn’t waver.

“We really had to start slowing down offensively and had to focus on executing our plays,” Haabala said. “Sometimes we like to push the ball in transition offensively, but as the game went down, we had to slow things down a bit.”

The Cardinals snapped the Zephyrs three-game winning streak and held them to their second-lowest point total of the season.

“We had to play fast defensively because they are a fast team,” Haabala said. “We were able to cover for each other on the backside and get through screens.”

Haabala was named the player of the game afterward for her all-around performance. She had 14 points in the game, while Hadley Thul led the team with 19.

“We have a lot of strengths, and one of them is that we have a lot of good shooters,” Haabala said. “We also have a lot of good rebounders, and we’ve been working really hard on the defensive end recently.”

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Alexandria's Allie Haabala drives the ball to the hoop during Alexandria's 54-47 win over Mahtomedi on Dec. 30, 2022. Haabala had 14 points in the game and was named the game MVP.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

MaCee Linow scored six points for the Cardinals, while Lauren Beyer had five, Morgan Seesz had four, and Kate Hennessy had two.

In four out of their wins this season, the Cardinals have held their opponents to 47 points or less.

Haabala said that one of the strengths of the team is team chemistry, and she said they have been connecting really well.

In Friday’s game, Mya Wilson led the scoring effort for the Zephyrs as she had 15 points, while Ella Kletti and Anna Greene each had 10.

Alexandria is ranked No. 13 in Class 3A in the Minnesota Basketball News poll by Pacesetter Sports, and it now has a win over a ranked opponent as Mahtomedi is ranked No. 14.

This game was one of many games that Alexandria has had so far this season as it has faced No. 1 Becker (76-59 loss on Dec. 29), No. 6 Stewartville (63-55 loss on Dec. 3) and No. 12 Detroit Lakes (56-50 loss on Dec.16).

The Cardinals now aim to use the momentum picked up from this win next time out against Bemidji at 7:15 p.m. on Tuesday at home.

“We just need to build off of this win and keep up the energy,” Haabala said.

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Alexandria begins the 2023 calendar year with four of its next five games at home after playing just one game at home in December.

Alexandria - 29 25 - 54

Mahtomedi - 19 28 - 47

ALEXANDRIA SCORING - Lauren Beyer, 5 points; Hadley Thul, 19 points; Morgan Seesz, 4 points; Chloe Scholl, 4 points; MaCee Linow, 6 points; Allie Haabala, 14 points; Kate Hennessey, 2 points

MAHTOMEDI SCORING- Sonya Potthoff, 6 points; Sophia Peer, 2 points; Ella Kletti, 10 points; Emily Muetzel, 4 points; Mya Wilson, 15 points; Anna Greene, 10 points

Sam Stuve covers a variety of sports in the Douglas County area. He also is assigned to do some news stories as well.
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