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Somerset girls basketball wins opener in double overtime

Somerset’s girls celebrate after winning their game against Bloomer in two overtimes.

They might be the youngest varsity team in any sport in the area, but Somerset girls showed the basketball world that they are ready to play.

The Spartans hosted Bloomer in their season opener. After a few shaky moments in the first half, the Spartans quickly proved they were fully capable to handle varsity action. When the game stretched into an overtime, and then another, the Spartans held their ground, winning in the second overtime 55-53.

The game started well for the Spartans as they built a 12-6 lead in the first quarter. Bloomer then caught the Spartans by surprise, scoring 12 straight points. Freshman Tori Martell scored six points to get the Spartans back on track and by halftime they’d cut Bloomer’s lead to 22-18.

Neither team looked inexperienced through a well-played, highly-paced second half and overtime. Somerset trailed by six points with three minutes left, but made a highly polished comeback. Baskets by Baily Paulus, McKenzie Erickson and Martell, plus two Martell free throws, put Somerset ahead 47-46. Bloomer had a chance for a win with 19 seconds left, but only made 1-2 free throws, sending the game to overtime.

The first overtime was played cautiously, with each team scoring one point. The second overtime was much more active. Martell scored eight seconds into the period. Bloomer tied the game, but a three-pointer by Sam Flandrick put Somerset ahead again. Bloomer matched that three-ball 20 seconds later. The final points of the overtime came when Martell hit two free throws with 45 seconds left in the game.

Martell led the Spartans with 23 points in her first varsity game. Flandrick scored 13 points, including four three-pointers.

Spartan coach Kendrick Livers said the girls showed their colors when Bloomer made its charge in the second quarter.

“We didn’t panic, we stayed collected,” he said. “I don’t think they’re intimidated. They just want to play basketball.”

The Spartans begin Middle Border Conference play this Friday, playing at defending MBC champion Baldwin-Woodville. The Spartans play another MBC game next Tuesday, at home against Durand.

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.
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