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Girls basketball: Cardinals set new season-high scoring output in win over Bemidji

Alexandria outscored Bemidji 42-14 in the second half and scored a season-high 83 points in its 39-point win on Tuesday.

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Alexandria's Chloe Scholl shoots a three-pointer during a game on Jan. 3, 2023. Scholl scored 14 points in Alexandria's 83-44 win.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press
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ALEXANDRIA - The Alexandria girls basketball team was in a rhythm on offense in its game at home on Tuesday against the Bemidji Lumberjacks, as it scored a season-high 83 points in its 39-point victory.

This scoring output is not only the Cardinals' highest of this season, but it is their highest scoring output since they scored 84 points in an 84-20 win over St. Cloud Apollo on Feb. 26, 2021.

“We executed things really well offensively,” Senior MaCee Linow said. “We were passing the ball really well. I thought we were being a lot more aggressive at the rim. I thought that we took high quality shots, we were looking for open teammates, and we were making good passes out there.”

Alexandria trailed 13-12 early in the first half of the game, but then went on an 8-0 run to take a 20-13 lead midway through the half.

Alexandria led 30-20 with 6:45 left in the first half, but Bemidji cut its deficit back down to five points.

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Alexandria's MaCee Linow puts up a floater during the first half of Alexandria's game on Jan. 3, 2023, against Bemidji. Linow's 11 points in the team's 83-44 win.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

The Cardinals ended the first half strong by scoring the final 11 out of 16 points and led 41-30 at the break. The Cardinals came out strong in the second half by scoring the first eight points in the second half, and they went on to outscore the Lumberjacks 42-14 in the second half to seal their 83-44 win.

“I definitely thought we turned the game into ours,” Linow said. “We came out with the mindset that we needed to win and that we couldn't let that gap get close down. We knew that we had to pull away and keep our momentum going.”

Alexandria scored 83 points on a Bemidji (5-5) defense that had held its previous four opponents to less than 50 points.

Read more Alexandria Cardinals coverage from the Echo Press

The Cardinals had a balanced offensive attack once again on Tuesday, as four players scored in double figures.

Sophomore Hadley Thul led the Cardinals in scoring on the night with 17 points, while senior Morgan Seesz added 15 points. Sophomore Chloe Scholl had 14 points, and Linow had 11.

“I loved it,” Linow said about the team’s balanced and unselfish play. “I thought we did amazing, having shared scoring. We did really well with moving the ball, finding the open teammate, and knowing where to find them.”

Freshman Lauren Beyer, sophomore Allie Haabala, freshman Kendra Wolf, freshman Kate Hennessey, freshman McKinley Hoelscher, and 8th-grader Gretta Kelly all scored in the Cardinals' win.

Along with Thul, Seesz, and Linow, Beyer and Haabala were the starters for the night for the Cardinals. Beyer finished with seven points, while Haabala had three.

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The Alexandria bench had a strong night as it outscored the Bemidji bench 29-7.

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Alexandria's McKinley Hoelscher lifts up a three-pointer during Alexandria's 83-44 win over Bemidji on Jan. 3, 2023. Hoelscher came off the bench and scored eight points in the win.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

“They're all really loud, and they're definitely one of our biggest contributors, no matter if they're on or off the court,” Linow said of the team’s bench.

Scholl came off the bench and scored 14, while Hoelscher had eight, Kelly had four, and Hennessey and Wolf had two.

The Cardinals have now held six out of their eight opponents this season to 50 points or less.

“We’ve been getting our arms in the passing lanes,” Linow said. “We're also doing better with getting our second and third defenders in there and not letting them get in the middle. We’ve been working on that a lot in practice, along with communicating and executing things for sure.”

Senior Gracee Bieber led the Lumberjacks on the night in scoring with 15 points, while fellow senior Beth Bolte ended the night with 14 points.

Alexandria improved to 6-3 on the season and 2-0 at home with the win on Tuesday.

The Cardinals' first home game of the season was a 75-37 win over the St. Cloud Crush on Dec. 9, 2022.

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“It was awesome to be back at home where we've been practicing and where it feels the best to play,” Linow said.

The Cardinals are currently the 13th-ranked team in Class AAA in the Minnesota Basketball News poll by Pacesetter sports. They came into Tuesday’s contest after beating No. 14 Mahtomedi on Dec. 30, 2022 , in their final game of the Breakdown’s Granite City Classic in the St. Cloud area.

With a win over a top 15 team, a 4-0 record in Central Lakes Conference games, a 3-1 record in Section 8AAA games, and having now set a new season-high in points, the Cardinals have a lot of momentum going for them.

“We've gotten really confident because of how we’ve been practicing and how we’ve been playing,” Linow said. “Our practices have gotten a ton better since the beginning of the season, which is really showing on game day. We're getting really confident in our abilities.”

Alexandria hits the road to face Sartell-St. Stephen (9-2) on Thursday, Jan. 5 at 7:15 p.m. Alexandria then returns home for games on Tuesday, Jan. 10, against Moorhead, on Friday, Jan. 13, against Fergus Falls, and on Tuesday, Jan. 17, against the defending section champions, Detroit Lakes.

Alexandria - 41 42 - 83

Bemidji - 30 14 - 44

ALEXANDRIA SCORING - Lauren Beyer, 7 points; Hadley Thul, 17 points; Morgan Seesz, 15 points; Chloe Scholl, 14 points; MaCee Linow, 11 points; Allie Haabala, 3 points; Kendra Wolf, 2 points; Kate Hennessey, 2 points; McKinley Hoelscher, 8 points; Gretta Kelly, 4 points

BEMIDJI SCORING - Katelyn Milbrandt, 8 points; Beth Bolte, 14 points; Gracee Bieber, 15 points; Mya Vincent, 7 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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