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New Richmond girls basketball team keeps conference championships hopes alive

New Richmond's Mattie Kidder (10) passes away from pressure applied by Somerset's McKenzie Erickson (left) and Natalie Moses (right) during last Tuesday's game.

The fighting spirit came out in the New Richmond girls basketball team on Monday night.

It kept the Tigers' hopes for a Middle Border Conference championship intact.

The Tigers knocked off MBC leader Baldwin-Woodville 32-30, keeping the Tigers' chances of getting at least a share of the conference title alive. The Tigers have two conference games remaining. They play at Prescott this Thursday, before finishing their MBC schedule the following Thursday with a home game against Osceola.

Much of the Tigers' title chances now hinge on Baldwin-Woodville's game with Durand this Thursday. A Durand win Thursday would cause a three-way tie at the top of the MBC standings.

Monday's game featured one of the best first halves of the season by the Tigers. They led 19-4 until B-W scored the final four points of the opening half. The Tigers were clearly the hungrier team, winning battle after battle for rebounds and loose balls.

Coach Jeff Kanewischer said the game plan was for the Tigers to play a physical brand of defense and to use quick ball movement on offense. The Tigers achieved both assignments. They forced B-W into hurried, awkward shots and the Tigers' ball movement produced a number of quality shots.

Two of the key players in the first half for the Tigers were seniors Kaycie Anderson and Anne Frank. Anderson added vitality to the Tiger offense, hitting a three-pointer and going coast-to-coast for a layup in the second quarter.

Frank epitomized the Tigers' tenacity, winning several tough battles for rebounds and winning races to loose balls.

B-W did come back in the fourth quarter, getting the margin down to one point. The Tigers were able to hang on, though B-W had three shots in the final seconds to tie the score and none of those shots would fall.

Sydney Kannel led the Tigers with 11 points in the win. Anderson and Mattie Kidder each finished with six points.

The Tigers needed the win Monday because they were upset in a game at Amery last Friday, 35-24. The Tigers couldn't get their offense in gear in the first quarter and Amery managed to hang onto the lead the rest of the way. Kannel scored 13 of the Tigers' 24 points and 10 of those came in the second half.

Last Tuesday the Tigers scored a conference victory when they went to Somerset and downed the Spartans 42-18.

New Richmond's defense dictated all the action in this game. Somerset was held scoreless in the first quarter and the Tigers led 23-5 by halftime. Kannel led the Tigers with 13 points, followed by Kidder with 10 and Anderson with seven.

In addition to their upcoming conference games, the Tigers also have a non-conference contest scheduled for next Monday. The Tigers will host Barron.

The Tigers will find out over the weekend where they'll be seeded in the WIAA Division 1 sectional tournament bracket. Kanewischer said he expects the team to land somewhere between the seventh and ninth seed. If they can get seeded above the ninth spot, they would earn a home game in the opening round of tournament play on Tuesday, Feb. 26.