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Somerset girls basketball continues learning process

Somerset sophomore McKenzie Erickson, the only non-freshman in the starting lineup on Friday, drives down the lane for a shot during the game against Prescott.

Every game is a learning experience when you’re starting four freshmen and a sophomore.

The Somerset girls basketball team put itself in a position for a win on Friday against Prescott, building a nine-point lead by halftime.

A tough lesson came for the Spartans in the second half. Prescott upped the pressure and the Spartans didn’t react well. Their lead vanished quickly. Prescott was able to maintain a slim lead through the fourth quarter, winning 42-35.

Spartan coach Kendrick Livers said the team didn’t look young in the first half. He said there was good ball movement and everybody was involved in the attack.

But when Prescott applied pressure in the third quarter, that changed. According to Livers, the Spartans stood too much, waiting to see what Tori Martell could create.

“That doesn’t work at the high school level,” Livers said. “We became one-dimensional.”

The Spartans did regroup to keep the game close. They got the margin down to three points with 45 seconds remaining. The Spartans were forced to foul and Prescott hit its late free throws to finish out the game.

Martell finished with 21 points to lead the Spartans and Abbie Rivard scored 11 points. Livers said the Spartans have been working hard to improve their rebounding and the work paid off in this game. The Spartans competed well for rebounds against the taller Prescott girls. The Spartan effort was led by sophomore Baily Paulus, who produced 13 rebounds and four points.

Now five games into the season, the Spartans are adapting to playing at the varsity level. Livers said it is now mainly small things that need to be cleaned up to help the team continue its progress.

Loss to Durand

The Spartans played an encouraging first quarter against Durand last Tuesday, trailing 16-13. But things went afoul quickly for the Spartans from there. They were shut out in the second quarter, 19-0, and the offense never reignited as the Spartans lost 67-24.

Durand has an exceptional amount of quickness on its roster and the Panthers unleashed a full-court press in the second quarter with a fury the Spartans couldn’t handle. The Panthers recorded 25 steals in quickly turning the game into a runaway.

Martell led the Spartans with nine points on Tuesday and Rivard scored five points.

This Friday and Saturday the Spartans will be playing in a tournament in Thorp. The tournament starts with the Spartans facing Thorp at 5:30 p.m. on Friday. In the second day of the tournament, the Spartans will play either New Richmond or Abbotsford.

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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