The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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March 16, 2013

NRHEG edges Braham for state title (PHOTO GALLERY)

MINNEAPOLIS — New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva’s Carlie Wagner is well known for her scoring exploits. She tied her own state tournament record by scoring 48 points in Friday night’s Class AA semifinal win over Minneapolis Washburn.

On Saturday she outdid herself in the Class AA state championship game at Target Center by scoring 50 points. But it was her steal on the defensive end in the final seconds that preserved NRHEG’s first state championship with a thrilling 60-59 win over Braham.

The game was was a showdown between Wagner, who has verbally committed to the University of Minnesota, and Braham’s Rebekah Dahlman, the state’s all-time leading scorer with over 5,000 career points and a Vanderbilt University recruit.

The first half was one-sided though with Wagner outscoring Dahlman 19-2 and Dahlman picking up her third foul with 7:17 left. She was forced to sit out the remainder of the half.

NRHEG defeated Braham 75-45 in last year’s state quarterfinals and knew how to defend Dahlman and second leading scorer, Kayla Nickles.

"We knew defensively, we had to have a blanket on Dahlman and defend Nickles on the three," said NRHEG head coach John Schultz. "Those were the two things we had to worry about."

While Braham was struggling with the Panthers’ pressure defense, Wagner was flourishing on the offensive end. By game’s end she set or tied six state tournament records.

For the game she went 21 for 43 from the floor for 50 points, all records for field goals made (tie), attempted, and points scored in a state tournament game. She set whole tournament records in those same categories (48 for 110 for 129 points).

"I’m happy; it’s cool, but I don’t think it’s greatly upon myself," said Wagner. "It’s a team thing. I wouldn’t have done it without my teammates so I can’t just say it’s my record."

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