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Season ends for local girls basketball team

By Mike Granlund

For The Telegram

The Northwestern Tigers girls basketball team played a great game for three quarters Tuesday night in the WIAA Division 3 tournament opener at St. Croix Central High School in Hammond but could not hold on and fell to the Panthers 61-51.

Coach Molly Fletcher’s quintet broke away from the Panthers late in the first quarter, sparked by nine points from Amanda Ogren to take a 14-10 lead after one.

The Panthers fought back and tied it up at 19-19 with five minutes to go in the half, but the Tigers held off the other felines for a 25-24 halftime lead.

Northwestern held its lead in the third until the Panthers gained a 32-31 advantage with 3:49 to go, whereupon Northwestern outscored St. Croix Central 11-2 to end the quarter ahead 42-34.

Up eight going into the final stanza, things looked good for Northwestern, but the Panthers switched to a trapping defense and scored 12 straight points. After that, the momentum was all with the home team as it finished off with the final 10 point margin at 61-51.

For the Tigers, Ogren and sophomore Aleia Lupa ended up with 13 points each and sophomore Cheyenne Johnson had 12. Senior Hailey Eller added nine points and Cassidy Friend and Tia Sznaider chipped in with two points each. Ogren and Johnson were the rebound leaders with eight each.

The Tigers (7-13) and had only two seniors this season, Eller and Reggie Semanko.

St. Croix Central was led by Lauren Moll and Kayla Pabst with 16 points each.

The Panthers (9-13) travel all of three miles on Friday to take on No. 1 seed Baldwin-Woodville in the regional semifinals.

NOTE: The season also ended for Solon Springs and Northwood on Tuesday night. Solon Springs lost to Frederic, 57-32; and Northwood fell to Luck, 55-21.