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Spartans can't keep pace with Amery

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The Somerset girls basketball team showed it is nearly ready to compete with the better teams in the Middle Border Conference last Friday.

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While the Spartans haven't won an MBC game in the two seasons they've been in the league, this season it seems to be just a matter of time before they get that accomplished.

Last Friday the Spartans hosted Amery, a team loaded with seniors that is expected to be one of the finer teams in the MBC this season. The Spartans were ahead at halftime in Friday's game, 29-28. They then ran into foul trouble in the second half and Amery was able to pull ahead for a 63-48 win.

The Spartans showed signs of many good things in the game. Their defense forced more than 30 turnovers and they played extremely well in the second quarter and nearly as well in the fourth quarter. But like many young teams, they are a team of highs and lows.

"We'll just have to overcome the lows," said Somerset coach Bill Powers.

Learning patience is one of the needs for the Spartans. The defense did an excellent job forcing turnovers, but many times the Spartans would quickly turn the ball back over because they were impatient in the offensive end.

Powers said the impatience in the offensive end is reflected in the team only having five assists in the game.

"Sometimes they try to do too much," Powers said. "We've got to play a little more down to earth at times."

Fouls also plagued the Spartans in the second half, with Amery shooting 44 free throws in the game.

Megan Plourde led the Spartans with 19 points and Roxi Martin scored 13 points. Plourde led the team with eight rebounds and five blocked shots and Ali Marson had four steals to lead the team.

The Spartans will face the best the MBC has to offer this Friday when defending conference champion Osceola comes to visit.

Spartans crush Unity

In one night the Somerset girls basketball team matched its win total from the past two seasons.

Somerset's girls were impressive in rolling to a 60-22 win over Unity in the Spartans' 2004-05 opener last Tuesday.

The Spartans went 1-41 over the past two seasons, but they gave every indication that those days are over. The Spartans pounced on the Eagles, building an 18-4 lead in the first quarter and they continued to build on the lead through the rest of the game.

Junior Roxi Martin led a balanced Somerset attack with 15 points. Freshman Megan Plourde scored 13 points and sophomore point guard Mallory Rorabeck scored 10 points. Plourde led the team with 11 rebounds. The Spartans stole the ball 26 times in the game, led by seven by Plourde and five from Martin. Plourde also blocked seven shots.

There is an influx of young talent on the Spartans this season. Coach Bill Powers said that should lessen the pressure on veteran players like Martin, Steinlicht and Julie Markfort, knowing they won't have to play every second of every game.

"The older kids stepped it up because they know they have a good supporting cast," Powers said. "Roxi (Martin) maybe played her best game."

The Spartans only have 15 girls in the entire basketball program, but Powers does not see that as a drawback. He got 10 girls into the varsity game on Tuesday. He has applied for the five-quarter rule through the WIAA, meaning girls can play a combined five quarters between the varsity and JV games. The Somerset JV walloped Unity, 65-8.

Unity's varsity beat Somerset last year 58-51 and had four of its five starters returning, which might be the best indication of how different the Spartans are this season.

Somerset 60, Unity 22

UNITY (22)

(FG-FT-FTA-PTS)

McCoy 3 2-3 8, Seeland 1 1-3 3, McKinney 0 4-8 4, Stratmoen 0 0-1 0, Schmidt 1 3-4 5, Kothlow 0 0-1 0, Hilleshiem 1 0-0 2. Totals 6 10-20 22.

SOMERSET (60)

Solum 0 1-2 1, Rorabeck 4 0-0 10, Marson 1 1-2 3, Krohn 3 2-2 9, Martin 7 0-0 15, Steinlicht 2 1-2 7, Markfort 1 0-0 2, Johanneck 0 0-0 0, Plourde 6 0-5 13, Bruley 0 0-0 0. Totals 24 5-13 60.

Unity 4 7 8 3 22

Somerset 18 17 12 13 60

Three-point goals -- Rorabeck 2, Krohn, Martin, Steinlicht 2, Plourde. Fouled out -- none. Total fouls -- Unity 16, Somerset 17.

Amery 63, Somerset 48

AMERY (63)

(FG-FT-FTA-PTS)

Elbing 5 5-7 16, Ch.Pinger 1 5-6 7, Schiell 2 5-7 10, Schiedler 0 1-2 1, Ca.Pinger 3 1-4 7, Webber 0 0-2 0, Seaman 1 0-0 2, Derrington 3 14-16 20. Totals 15 31-44 63.

SOMERSET (48)

T.Steinlicht 0 0-0 0, Solum 0 0-0 0, Rorabeck 2 0-0 4, Marson 0 2-2 2, Krohn 2 1-2 6, Martin 5 3-9 13, K.Steinlicht 0 0-1 0, Markfort 1 0-0 2, Johanneck 1 0-2 2, Plourde 4 10-13 19. Totals 15 16-29 48.

Amery 13 15 18 17 63

Somerset 11 18 6 13 48

Three-point goals -- Elbing, Schiell, Krohn, Plourde. Fouled out -- Webber, Seaman. Total fouls -- Amery 24, Somerset 29.

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Dave Newman
Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.
(715) 243-7767 x242
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