Area girls basketball: Upsala earns share of Prairie Conference title, Pierz clips Kimball

Area girls basketball action from Feb. 21 – 23:

Upsala 66, Royalton 37

The end of the regular season was accompanied by a flurry of activity for the Upsala girls basketball team.

Senior Tracy Herzog scored her 1,000th career point.

Fellow senior Aimee Pelzer was named one of 20 candidates for the state’s Ms. Basketball Award.

And for a fourth consecutive season, Upsala took home a Prairie Conference title, clinched with a 66-37 win over visiting Royalton, Feb. 21.

After Upsala built a 44-15 halftime lead, the only suspense that remained was whether or not Herzog, who entered the night 984 career points, would reach the milestone.

She finished the night with 19 points, which along with Pelzer’s 15 and senior Alissa Zehrer’s 11 allowed the Cardinals to claim a share of the conference crown with Osakis.

Senior Sadie Welinski and sophomore Brooke Westrich each followed with six points, sophomore Sara Herzog had five and junior Kaelin Smieja picked up four.

Senior Kalee Petron led Royalton with a 19-point performance.

Junior Emmily Fussy followed with seven, while senior Kandy Meyer scored five, senior Hannah Fussy picked up four and sophomore Abby Duevel had two.

Zimmerman 61, Little Falls 30

Senior Jamie Jenks scored 14 points and junior Jennifer Ronning added eight in a 61-30 loss for Little Falls at Zimmerman, Feb. 22, wrapping up the regular season.

Freshman Melanie Dorn contributed four points and junior Gabby Nouis and sophomore Kendra Pohlman each chipped in two, with Nouis also grabbing a team-high nine rebounds.


Pierz 43, Kimball Area 38

Pierz secured third place in the Central Minnesota Conference (CMC) with a sturdy defensive effort against visiting Kimball Area, Feb. 21, topping the Cubs 43-38.

Sophomore Kayla Carter led Pierz offensively with 15 points while also pulling down six rebounds.

Senior Alyssa Boser scored all nine of her points from the free-throw line, converting 9-of-10 to help Pierz ice the game in the closing minutes.

Senior Megan Boser and juniors Bridget Bednar and Tiara Hopkins followed with six points apiece, with Megan Boser distributing four assists.


Swanville 69, St. John’s Prep 50

Sophomore Steph Koetter scored 26 points and pulled down 11 rebounds to lead Swanville past visiting St. John’s Prep 69-50 in its regular season finale, Feb. 21.

Senior Marissa Evans also posted a double-double with 10 points and 14 rebounds, while senior Abbey Schultz nearly joined her with 11 points and eight rebounds.

Sophomore Danica Hanson followed with eight points and four assists, senior Tiffany Barthel netted six points and junior Nikki Primus had five points and seven rebounds.


Maple Lake 59, Holdingford 42

Maple Lake took a seven-point halftime lead over host Holdingford, Feb. 21, then pulled away in the second half to earn a 59-42 win.

Sophomore Joelle Ertl had 11 points and five steals and senior Jena Volkers scored 10 points to lead Holdingford.