MINNEAPOLIS — A three-pronged scoring attack helped lift Stillwater to a 48-46 nonconference girls’ basketball victory over Minneapolis South on Wednesday night.
Haley Balzart led the way with 14 points and 12 rebounds as the Ponies (1-12 SEC, 5-16) snapped a seven-game losing streak. Despite playing against 6-foot-3 post player A’chieyah Sanders, Balzart also finished with three steals and three assists.
Larissa Colvin and Rilee Day chipped in with 13 and 12 points apiece to help the Ponies hold off the Tigers (4-15).
“It was good for the girls” Ponies coach Gerard Coury said. “We’ve been in some close games and to finally pull one out and end this little bit of a drought was good for us.”
The game remained close throughout, with neither team enjoying a lead of more than four points. Balzart made a left-handed shot over Sanders to break a 45-all tie late in the game before South pulled within a point on a free throw at the other end. Day then hit a free throw for Stillwater with four seconds remaining and the Tigers were unable to get off a shot at the buzzer.
The Ponies were playing without Natalie Johnson and Annie Lauber because of injuries and Paige Becker was also out because of illness.
“Effort is one thing we don’t discuss anymore,” Coury said. “We’ve got that part figured out. We don’t shoot a great percentage so for us we need to do all those little things and that comes down to hustle points. That’s what you saw in this game, we didn’t shoot a great percentage, but it was about doing all those little things that helped us get this victory.”
Morgan Tschumperlin and Colvin pulled down seven and six rebounds for the Ponies, who don’t go taller than 5-9 or 5-10 in the post.
“We had 19 offensive rebounds, which is by far our season high,” Coury said. “We need to get extra possessions and that really helped us.”
Anjalee Jones drained five 3-pointers and led the Tigers with 23 points.
Stillwater 25 23 — 48
Minneapolis South 23 23 — 46
Stillwater (pts): Larissa Colvin 13, Rilee Day 12, Haley Balzart 14, Madisen Schmitt 2, Alexis Wahlstrom 2, Meg Pepera 3 and Paige Becker 2.
Minneapolis South: Kierra Smith 2, Anjalee Jones 23, Alina Sanders 4 and A’chieyah Sanders 17.
3-pointers: St (3): Colvin, Day and Pepera; MS (5): Jones 5.
Free throws: St, 5-15; MS, NA.