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Improvement by Somerset girls basketball finally pays off in win

Somerset freshman guard McKenzie Erickson drives to the basket during the Spartans' win over Ellsworth last week.

The improvement has been noticeable from week to week, but it wasn't resulting in any wins for the Somerset girls basketball team.

That all changed last Tuesday when the Spartans took an early lead and maintained it throughout a 46-36 win over Ellsworth on the Spartans' home court.

The first win was a reward for the progress the Spartans have made this season. There were several times during the game the Spartans were on the verge of pulling away from the Panthers. The hot shooting of freshman Samantha Flandrick helped the Spartans score 20 points in the first quarter, their biggest quarter of the season. Flandrick scored 12 of the 20 first quarter points, including hitting three shots from three-point range. She finished the game with 17 points.

Developing more scoring threats has been a major goal for the Spartans and it came to fruition in this game. The Spartans had three players score in double figures, with McKenzie Erickson and Sadie Gilbertson each scoring 10 points. Anna Siggens finished with seven points.

Ellsworth tried to make a charge at the Spartans in the fourth quarter, but the Spartans went 6-8 from the free throw line in the final minute to ice the win.

The Spartans went to Amery last Thursday hoping to build a winning streak, but it didn't happen. The Spartans started slowly and Amery never gave up the lead, winning 37-21.

Amery outscored the Spartans 10-2 in the first quarter and the Spartans never recovered. Amery is a difficult matchup for the Spartans, led by powerful 5-10 post player Cortney Pinger.

Gilbertson led the Spartans with nine points in the loss. Sarah Krig and Madison Wall each scored four points.

Turnovers were a significant problem for the Spartans in this game. Amery stole the ball from the Spartans 21 times during the contest.

The next game for the Spartans will be played next Tuesday. Somerset begins the second half of the Middle Border Conference that night, with a home game against Osceola.