Prairie Girls Basketball: Upsala gains buzzer-beating revenge

Due to a weather-induced quirk in the schedule, Upsala was left playing West Central Area in its second game in a row, Tuesday.

Due to a deep three-pointer at the buzzer by junior Sara Herzog, though, the final result would not be the same.

Eight days after falling by 14 points to the Knights, Upsala turned the tables  in dramatic fashion with a 66-65 home win.

Senior Kaelin Smieja hit five threes to finish with a game-high 19 points, followed closely by freshman Katlin Welinski with 16.

Herzog closed with eight points, junior Danica Cheney scored six, sophomore Kiley Smieja had five and senior Katie Ripplinger and juniors Mariah Prokott and Brooke Westrich added four apiece.

Herzog also had four assists and Welinski pulled down seven rebounds.


Hanson, Koetter spark

back-to-back wins

Juniors Danica Hanson and Steph Koetter dominated at both ends of the floor as Swanville put up consecutive wins this week, winning 55-41 at Onamia, Feb. 7 and 63-56 in overtime over visiting St. John’s Prep, Monday.

Koetter finished with 28 points and 11 rebounds and Hanson recorded nine points, five steals and three assists versus Onamia, with freshman Madison Beseman contributing six points and eighth-grader Brooklyn Thieschafer scoring four.

Hanson scored five of her career-high 27 points in overtime to help the Bulldogs overcome St. John’s Prep, after the Johnnies tied the game on a three with 12 seconds left in regulation.

Hanson also grabbed 14 rebounds and made six steals and Koetter had a 23-point, 16-rebound double-double.

Senior Nikki Primus added eight points and 14 rebounds.

“It was great to see the girls overcome some adversity and not quit,” Swanville head coach Aaron Gapinski said. “I have seen our girls in the past hang their heads in a situation like this, but last night they responded well and never gave up. This was a great team win.”

Swanville also gave Prairie Conference leader Osakis one of its toughest halves of the season, Feb. 6, keeping within 18-15 at the half before the visiting Silverstreaks pulled away for a 63-34 win.

Koetter had 13 points and 14 rebounds, Primus posted nine points and nine rebounds and Hanson had six points and three assists for the Bulldogs.


Fussy paces Royalton

Senior Emily Fussy continued to pick up the slack for injury-plagued Royalton this week, topping 20 points in a pair of contests.

“Emily is on quite a run,” Royalton head coach Ron Makela said. “She has led all scorers in nine of our last 10 games. As a coach, it is rewarding to watch one of my players come into her own. She started this year as a wing, but now at times, she is our point guard or a post.

“She is so versatile that other teams have a lot of trouble stopping her,” he said. “She can take a bigger player outside and post up smaller players. Sometimes she is double teamed inside and can still find a way to score.”

The Royals fell 63-30 at Isle, Feb. 6, 44-41 at West Central Area, Feb. 8 and 68-31 to visiting Browerville, Monday, before defeating visiting Ogilvie 57-44, Tuesday.

Fussy had 20 points and sophomore Amy Hoover had 13 against West Central and 23 versus Browerville.