The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Sports

March 20, 2014

Wagner, NRHEG set records in state victory

Wagner gets 53; Panthers hit 13 3s to reach 100

MINNEAPOLIS — There was still about six minutes remaining in the game, and Carlie Wagner looked up at the clock, finally seeing her point total.

Then, she smiled. That's it.

"I really don't worry about it," Wagner said. "It's exciting, but it's nothing that's personal to me."

If Wagner wasn't impressed with her 53-point performance, breaking her own state-tournament record, she was about the only one. The crowd was keeping track of Wagner's total, and even the Pequot Lakes' crowd joined in the standing ovation when she made two free throws to break the record.

Top-seeded NRHEG, the defending state champion, opened the second half with a 12-2 run and defeated Pequot Lakes 100-68 in the quarterfinals of the Class AA girls basketball tournament Wednesday at Mariucci Arena. The Panthers set a record for points in a state-tournament game, breaking the previous record of 88 by Eden Valley-Watkins in 1984.

But most of the postgame talk was about Wagner, who set six records when NRHEG won the state championship last season. She had 26 points by halftime, but she was more impressive in the second half, making 7 of 11 shots, including 4 of 6 on 3-pointers to score 27 points in the first 13 minutes of the second half.

"She was a little cold in the first half," NRHEG coach John Schultz said. "The second half, she was a little more dominant. She had her (defender) on her heels so she could drive, and then she started popping 3s. When the score is close, that's when she has her best games."

The Panthers, who have a 59-game winning streak, led for most of the first half, though each time it looked like the margin might be comfortable, Pequot Lakes made a run. Hannah Lundberg's putback gave NRHEG the 29-17 lead, but Pequot Lakes was able to get back within 41-39 with two minutes left in the half.

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