The Free Press, Mankato, MN


February 9, 2013

Claire Ziegler's milestone helps Cougars toward conference title



“It’s pretty awesome,” Ziegler said. “I mean, I’ve worked very hard and I have to give a lot of credit to my teammates, especially Minnie for all the great passes she’s made to me. I was pretty nervous at the start. We actually drew up a play for me to shoot a three, but that didn’t work so it was a little nerve-racking.”

Ziegler’s three-basket flurry — a putback, a baseline drive and a down-the-boulevard banker — got the Cougars rolling to start the second half. Anderson’s layup and two free throws kept the surge going before Taylor’s thee-point play produced the game’s largest lead at 58-32 with 9:17 remaining. Anderson finished with a career-high 10 points while Taylor totaled 10 points and four rebounds.

“Once we settled down and started playing better defense, we got a better streak going for us,” Anderson said. “We’ve been working on boxing out a lot in practice and defending as a team. Minnie and Claire are always up to their finest every game so it was really good to have everyone play well together. That kind of play will help us get ready for the sections.”

Winona made a final charge behind a trio of 3-pointers from Dulcey Milek along with two baskets and a pair of foul shots from Blacklock. After Anna Eddy’s layup off a steal cut the deficit to 61-49 with 3:14 to go, free throws by Anderson and Frederick along with Ziegler’s rebound basket put things away. Frederick, who is seven points shy of 1,000 points, ened up with nine points, four assists and five steals.

“Our defense picked us up today,” East coach Mike Barger said. “I thought we played a nice little 2-3 zone and we stayed in it because they never attacked the middle against it. Bria gave us that spark when we were down early and I hope she’s all right. Those role players are important with some playing good defense and others playing good defense.

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