Somerset girls win Middle Border Conference basketball title
It was an all or nothing battle for the conference title.
When Somerset and Prescott clashed last Thursday, the teams knew the winner would be a Middle Border Conference champion and the loser would get nothing.
After trailing by five points at halftime, the Spartans took control of the game by outscoring Prescott 17-2 in the third quarter. The Spartans maintained a healthy margin through the fourth quarter to win 42-33.
This is the first conference championship won by the Spartans since the 2007-08 season.
The Spartans and Amery share the title, with both teams finishing with 10-4 MBC records. Prescott and Durand share the next rung in the standing with 9-5 records.
A year ago, the Spartans finished in the middle of the pack with a 7-7 record. Second year coach Kendrick Livers said the team had to do some soul searching after losing three conference games in nine days before this game.
"We didn't think we'd be where we're at right now," Livers said. "All of the sudden everyone is stepping up and we're playing team basketball."
Livers credited seniors Ashley Martell and Karli Solum for showing the leadership in the second half comeback.
"They definitely led the way and everyone followed," Livers said.
Solum led the Spartans with 10 points in the win. Martell and junior Paige Wagner each scored nine points and Bridget Kieckhoefer contributed six points.
This was Senior Night in Prescott. Livers said he expected the Cards to play inspired ball in the first half and that's what happened. In the second half the Spartans were able to steer Prescott point guard Alyssa Krings away from the center of the court. With Krings not able to penetrate into the lane, it took away the main source of Prescott's scoring.
The Spartans drew a first round bye in the WIAA Division 3 playoffs. They will play at home this Friday. Their opponent will be the winner of Tuesday's game between Osceola and Unity. The winner of Friday's game will advance to the regional championship game, which will be played at 7 p.m. on Saturday at River Falls High School.