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Tigers rebound from tough loss to Hayward

The Northwestern High School girls basketball team pulled off a 34-23 win over Rice Lake in a low-scoring game in Maple Tuesday night. The Tigers are now 14-2 overall and 8-2 in the Heart O' North Conference. The Warriors fall to 13-4 overall. "W...

The Northwestern High School girls basketball team pulled off a 34-23 win over Rice Lake in a low-scoring game in Maple Tuesday night.

The Tigers are now 14-2 overall and 8-2 in the Heart O' North Conference. The Warriors fall to 13-4 overall.

"We played with a lot of intensity," NHS coach Shawn Leith said. "It was definitely a good win after the loss we had on Thursday."

Last Thursday night the Tigers lost an important HON match-up to Hayward, which moved the Hurricanes into first place in the conference. Leith said the NHS girls were devastated after their loss, but they came ready to play on Tuesday.

Neither team scored more than seven points in a quarter until the final eight-minute period. At halftime NHS held a narrow 11-9 lead and extended its lead to 17-12 by the end of the third quarter.

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In the fourth quarter, both teams nearly doubled their scores with the Tigers outscoring Rice Lake 17-11 for the win.

Leith said he told his players before the game physical play and intensity would be key to getting a win. He thought the team did very well on defense and was impressed with the Tiger guards and post player Gretchen Grube on offense.

"Gretchen played probably her best game in the post," Leith said.

Grube had 13 points for Northwestern. Nicole Hughes followed closely with nine points, five of which came on free throws in the fourth quarter.

Tanae Romporth had 10 points for Rice Lake, including both of the team's 3-pointers. Lexi Williams added six points for the Warriors. Casey Weber, who Leith said is averaging about 24 points per game for the Warriors, was held to three points.

Both the Tigers and the Warriors struggled from the free-throw line. NHS made 10-of-23 shots and Rice Lake made 3-of-13.

The Tigers next play at Chetek at 7:30 p.m. Friday, and Leith said NHS has its confidence back for the match.

"They're probably the most excited I've seen them all year," he said. "It puts us right back on a winning track to play well against a quality team."

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Rice Lake 6 3 3 11 -- 23

Northwestern 4 7 6 17 -- 34

Rice Lake -- Lexi Williams 6, Casey Weber 3, Tanae Romporth 10, Jen Marsh 2, Molly Struli 2. Totals 9 3-13 23.

3-point goals -- Romporth 2.

Northwestern -- Gretchen Grube 13, Alex Baillie 2, Nicole Hughes 9, Lindsay Taipale 2, Anna Morgan 4, Lindsey Garay 4. Totals 12 10-23 34.

3-point goals -- none.

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