Tigers fall 57-50 to basketball powerhouse Braham
Fans who attended the Rush City girls basketball home game against Braham at home last Thursday night witnessed quite the battle among the conference rivals.
It was a slow start at first for the Tigers, though.
The Tigers committed 12 turnovers in the first half, until sophomore Miranda Anderson sparked some momentum just before halftime by hitting a last-second lay up to bring her team within single digits, 25-17.
Rush City then came out and played what head coach Joe Nelson called the “best half of the year.”
The Tigers committed just six turnovers in the second half and eventually took the lead with about nine minutes remaining.
“We had the lead about three or four times in the second half; we played eight girls, and they all did very well,” Nelson said. “Braham ran a half-court trap on us, and I think we handled it pretty well and got some good looks at the basket.”
The back-and-forth game turned into a tie game with 1:20 remaining, but fouls on the home team turned into points for Braham as the Bombers’ final seven points were earned on the charity stripe. Braham won 57-50.
Rush City went 11-17 from the free-throw line while Braham went 25-41.
“Braham drove to the basket, drew the fouls and we just fouled too much,” Nelson said.
Junior Haylie Gilbert led the Tigers with 11 points, followed by senior Alissa Mell with nine points and eight rebounds. Junior Payton Ramberg recorded eight points and six rebounds while sophomore Sydnie Sybrant put up seven points. Sophomore Lindsey Williams added five points while junior Kayla Nelson tallied four points, seven rebounds and two blocks.
Nelson said it was encouraging to see his team compete with the Bombers, a perennial girls basketball power that is 14-1 this season and undefeated in conference play after reaching the state tournament five seasons in a row.
“Braham is a tradition state tournament team, and it’s hard to beat that, but we were right there,” Nelson said. “It was a very good crowd, the place was going nuts and this was the classic example where we just need to learn how to win those games.”
The Tigers are 6-5 overall and 4-3 in the Great River Conference.
Next, Rush City hosts Ogilvie at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 31.