BP hangs on to move on

Published 10:52 pm Friday, February 25, 2011

Blooming Prairie's Kelli Naatz reaches out to block a lay-up by Glenville-Emmons' Kalli Van Ryswyk during the first half Friday night in Blooming Prairie. - Eric Johnson/phtoodesk@austindailyherald.com

BLOOMING PRAIRIE — The Awesome Blossoms almost blew a 14-point lead, but they made the plays when it counted in a 48-42 win over Glenville/Emmons (16-8 overall) in the first round of the Subsection 1A West Division girls basketball playoffs Friday.

BP (14-12 overall) saw it’s 41-27 lead cut to 43-42 after G/E’s Emily Belshan knocked down a pair of threes and Robyn Roe hit a free throw with 1:28 left. But junior guard Cortney Easton stepped up to the plate for the Blossoms as she knocked down four straight free throws in a one-and-one situation to ice the game.

Blooming Prairie's Erica Manske tries to gain control of a loose ball with Glenville-Emmons' Alayna Hall during the second half of their playoff game in Blooming Prairie Friday night. - Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

“I was very nervous, but I was just happy to get them,” Easton said. “We practice end games situations all the time, so we’re comfortable with it.”

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Easton hit the first pair with 1:10 left to make it 45-42 and after Jenna Krell came up with a steal, she hit another pair with 54.5 seconds left. BP head coach John Worke couldn’t help but notice that Easton was also guarding Roe when she hit the two big threes during the Wolverines’ comeback.

“That’s (Cortney’s) game, she’ll do one bad thing and she’ll do two good things,” Worke said. “It’s hard to control that as a coach. Things got a little scary, but when push came to shove, we did what we had to.”

The game was back-and-forth early on but BP used a 12-2 run to take a 19-11 lead early in the first and never trailed again. The Blossoms knew G/E, which has seven seniors, was capable of coming back, but they weren’t expecting the 15-2 run the Wolverines pulled off in a five-minute span.

“They’re a senior heavy team that’s been together for four years and this is kind of their year,” Worke said. “We knew they would never give up and they were going to make little runs here and there. I didn’t expect it to get that close but they made some key threes.”

BP got a big offensive boost from the backcourt of sophomore Janelle Morem, who had 11 points, eight rebounds and four assists, and senior Erica Manske, who had eight points, three assists and three steals. Manske hit two threes from the wing on passes from Morem to open the second half and make it a 31-18 game.

“I’ve only been playing with Erica for two years, but her and I work well together,” Morem said. “I know where she’s going to be on the court.”

Blooming Prairie's Janelle Morem looks to pass around Glenville-Emmons' Alayna Hall during the second half of their playoff game Friday night in Blooming Prairie. - Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

Sophomore center Kelli Naatz had eight points and six rebounds while holding G/E center Kalli Van Ryswyk to 12 points — with just three of those coming in the second half.

“(Van Ryswyk) is very good and I thought Kelli handled her very well,” Morem said. “That’s good because we play Bethlehem Academy next and they have a bigger girl, so hopefully Kelli can do it again.”

BP lost both of its regular season games to Faribault B.A., which also ended the Blossoms’ season last year. This time, Worke hopes things are different as the teams meet Tuesday at Mayo Civic Center at 8 p.m.

F.B.A (14-12 overall) will be without one of its post players due to an injury.

“We’re excited to go to Rochester again and it’s a big tournament feeling over there,” he said. “I think it’s a little different situation than last year. We feel we can play with them this year and have a chance to beat them.”

G/E 18 24 — 42

BP 25 23 — 48

BP scoring: Janelle Morem, 11; Erica Manske, 8; Kelli Naatz, 8; Cortney Easton, 6; Jenna Krell, 6; Whitney Burt, 4; Tayla Jones, 4; Julia Magnes, 2; free throws: 52 percent (11-for-21); rebounds: 36 (Morem, 8); turnovers: 23

G/E scoring: Kalli Van Ryswyk, 12; Kailey Davis, 8; Emily Belshan, 8; Alayna Hall, 6; Roby Roe, 5; Kayla Woodside, 3; free throws: 38 percent (6-for-16); rebounds: 36 (Van Ryswyk, 11); turnovers: 23