Ada-Borup remains unbeaten in girls basketball with 55-51 win at Hawley
HAWLEY, Minn. - In a showdown of two of the most successful high school girls basketball programs in Minnesota, Ada-Borup remained the only unbeaten girls team in the state.
HAWLEY, Minn. – In a showdown of two of the most successful high school girls basketball programs in Minnesota, Ada-Borup remained the only unbeaten girls team in the state.
Ada-Borup, the top-ranked team in Class 1A, hung on for a 55-51 win over Hawley, the third-ranked team in Class 2A.
“This is exactly the type of game we needed,” said Ada-Borup head coach Dave Smart, whose 22-0 Cougars had been outscoring their opponents by an average of 45 points. “Win or lose, this is exactly what we needed. We needed to be slapped around a little bit. We needed to be challenged.”
Ada-Borup built its biggest lead of the game with nine minutes remaining, 43-34. But that’s when Hawley – which had been outscoring opponents by an average of 17 points per game – went on a 14-5 run to tie the score 48-48. Olivia Olson’s 3-pointer with 4:40 remaining tied it.
Miki Lee sank an inside shot with 44 seconds left to give Ada-Borup a 53-51 lead. After Olson missed a 3-pointer from beyond the key, Lexi Nelson sank two free throws with 10.9 seconds left to ice the victory.
“This is challenge week,” Lee said, referring to Ada-Borup’s home game with Class 2A Crookston on Thursday and Saturday’s game against Win-E-Mac. “This gives us a little more confidence. It just gets us ready that much better for tournament time.”
Tuesday night’s game featured two girls programs that have each played in seven state tournaments. Smart, who guided Ada-Borup to state titles in 2008 and 2009, has accumulated more than 300 wins in his 15 years at the school.
Hawley head coach Bill Gottenborg, who coached the Nuggets to runner-up finishes at state in 2003 and 2004, has won more than 500 games in his 31 years at the school.
“They do things so well,” Gottenborg said of Smarts’ Cougars. “It’s the simple things that they do so well. You can learn a lot from playing a team like that.”
The two teams looked crisp in the first half, when Ada-Borup built a 35-28 lead. But both teams combined for 20 turnovers in the second half.
“We both made our share of mistakes,” said Smart, who was without 5-foot-11 starter Morgan Miller, who was sidelined with a hip injury. “But I think you have to attribute that to the defenses of both teams. It’s definitely fun going up against a coach like Bill (Gottenborg). We were just hoping to compete.”
Haley Poehler, who scored all 16 of her points in the first half, was Ada-Borup’s top scorer. Olson scored 18 and Mira Ellefson scored 16 for Hawley, which falls to 18-3.
Half: AB 35, H 28
AB: Nelson 7, Birkemeyer 14, Lee 11, Merkens 7, Peohler 16.
H: Noreen 4, Olson 18, Laddusaw 5, Hovelson 2, Ellefson 16, Mattfeld 6.