Girls basketball: Mustangs pull away from Stillwater

Haley Balzart goes up for a shot in traffic during the second half of Stillwater’s Suburban East Conference girls’ basketball game against Mounds View on Friday at Stillwater Area High School. (Stillwater staff photos by Stuart Groskreutz)

Haley Balzart goes up for a shot in traffic during the second half of Stillwater’s Suburban East Conference girls’ basketball game against Mounds View on Friday at Stillwater Area High School. (Stillwater staff photos by Stuart Groskreutz)

OAK PARK HEIGHTS — Playing its final tune-up before the postseason begins, the Stillwater girls’ basketball team was outscored 36-22 in the second half of Friday’s 61-45 Suburban East Conference setback against Mounds View at Stillwater Area High School.

Annie Lauber, left, and Madeline Weidner turn up the defense.

Annie Lauber, left, and Madeline Weidner turn up the defense.

The Ponies (2-16 SEC, 6-20), who finished ninth in the final conference standings, trailed by just two points at halftime and were within 30-28 with 14 minutes remaining in the game. The Mustangs (10-8, 14-12) went on a 14-4 run over the next four minutes to open up a 12-point lead after Erika Johnson drained one of her five 3-pointers.

“She had five threes so we had some defensive breakdowns and some scouting report mistakes and that allowed them to get baskets and we gave up second and third shots,” Ponies coach Gerard Coury said. “I thought in the second half we were outworked and it’s the first time in over a month we thought the other team outworked us.”

Mounds View’s Kate McDaniels led all scorers with 20 points while Johnson added 19.

The Ponies jumped out to a 12-3 lead to start the game, with help from a two field goals, including a 3-pointer, by Alexis Wahlstrom. Larissa Colvin paced Stillwater with 11 points while Paige Becker supplied eight points and pulled down a team-high 11 rebounds. Annie Lauber and Wahlstrom each finished with seven points while Haley Balzart grabbed eight rebounds.

“We made shots early and we started out well,” Coury said. “We fouled in the first half, which allowed them to get to the free throw line and we didn’t do a very good job defending McDaniels.”

l The Ponies are the No. 6 seed and will travel to third-seeded White Bear Lake for the Section 4AAAA quarterfinals on Wednesday.

 

Mounds View 25 36 — 61

Stillwater 23 22 — 45

 

Mounds View (pts): Jacky Volkert 12, Katie McDaniels 20, Paige Thayer 2, Lauren Saemrow 4, Erika Johnson 19 and Maddie Hulcher 4.

Stillwater: Annie Lauber 7, Larissa Colvin 11, Rilee Day 5, Haley Balzart 5, Alexis Wahlstrom 7, Meg Pepera 2 and Paige Becker 8.

3-pointers: MV, 6; St, 2.

Free throws: MV, 13-16; St, 21-29.

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