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Somerset girls basketball plays three good quarters against Boyceville

Boyceville is one of the leading girls basketball teams in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference.

Somerset’s girls gave Boyceville all it could handle for three quarters on Friday. The Bulldogs took advantage of the Spartans’ inexperience in the fourth quarter to pull away for a 49-34 win over the Spartans.

The Spartans trailed 35-29 entering the fourth quarter. The Spartans got impatient while trying to stage a comeback in the final minutes and Boyceville pounced on those mistakes to pile up some late points.

Somerset coach Kendrick Livers said this was another step in the learning process for the Spartans. He said it takes patience on offense and intensity on defense to come back against top varsity opponents.

“You can’t get it back in or two trips down the court,” Livers said. “We’re right there. For three quarters we played really good basketball.”

When teams face Boyceville, they have to plan for Bulldog point guard Abbey Bird, one of the top players in the D-SC. The Spartans did an excellent job against Bird in the first half, holding her to four points. Bird got several steals that led to scores in the fourth quarter and hit several free throws to finish with 20 points.

Boyceville center April Lake also scored 20 points. No other Bulldog tallied more than three points.

The Spartans were without their best post defender, Baily Paulus, due to an injury. Livers said Ally Wittstock stepped in to give the team a strong defensive effort. He said guard Haley Bassett also performed well in a reserve role.

The Spartans have been looking for more balance in their offense and they got it in this game. The Spartans moved the ball around the perimeter well, getting the ball to the player with the best opportunity to score. Eight Spartans scored in the game, led by Tori Martell with eight points, Abbie Rivard with seven, Sam Flandrick with five and Avery Gunther with four.

Livers said he is still waiting to see what this team can do when it puts together four good quarters. The Spartans will have a chance to do that on Friday, when they play at winless Ellsworth. The Spartans will also be in action next Tuesday, when they face Amery in a girls-boys double-header. The girls varsity game will begin at 6:30 p.m., followed by the boys varsity game at 8:15 p.m.

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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