New England’s Tigers had a good weekend, picking up a pair of victories.
New England girls defeated the New Salem/Almont Holsteins Saturday, 48-39.
By Brad Mosher
The Tigers rallied in the fourth quarter to hold off the Holsteins after the visitors cut the lead to just two points (34-32) with just under six minutes left.
Shelley Kathrein led the Tigers with 19 points, while Ellie Rettinger had 11 and Molly Rayhorn put in nine points. Emily Dinius added six while Elizabeth Kaufman scored three points.
For coach Jason Jung, it was exactly what he expected – a tough battle. “It was an extremely physical game. All game long, we would get up by five and then they would come back. We got up 10 a couple of times and they’d come back.
“In the fourth quarter, we got up by 10 and they came back within a couple of points.
“It seemed at times we would get satisfied when we would get a lead. We got to keep pushing, pushing, pushing and get that lead,” he said.
“We have not won a lot of games this year, so we have to learn how to win. That is a process too.
“We have won three out of our last four,” he said after Saturday’s home win over the Holsteins. I think the girls are slowly getting learning how to win. We’ll see ourselves be a lot more efficient in future games,” he said.
The team has a lot of regional games ahead of them and Jung said he hopes to get the squad into the regional tournament. “Those are our most important games. We are taking them one game at a time. Every game could mean the difference between moving up a spot in the seeding , so we are 100 percent focused on our regional games,” he said.
“Our goal is to get a home play-in game in the regional tournament. They we feel that we will have a great shot to get into the final eight,” he added.
The coach praised Kathrein for an “amazing night” after scoring 19 points. She also finished with nine rebounds. “She had a ton of steals. Her game is really starting to come around.”
He also praised Ellie Rettinger. “She had 11 points, which is her high for the year. Defensively, she played unbelievable. She had a lot of tips and a lot of steals. She really caused a lot of havoc for the other team. “
Tiger upset Cougars
Then the Tigers followed that up with a 44-40 upset win over Heart River Monday.
The two victories gave the Tigers a 2-3 Region 7 record and left them with a 5-8 record for the season.
The Cougars fell to 3-3 in regional play and 8-6 overall. The Tigers faced another tough test Thursday when New England went to Buffalo in South Dakota to play Harding County.
The Tigers will go on the Road again Saturday when they travel to Mandaree for a 4 p.m. contest.
The next time the Tigers will be back in New England is when they host Richardton-Taylor on Jan. 28.