The Caledonia girls improved to 12-5 in conference play and 17-6 overall when they won their fourth straight game Thursday night at home. It was a thrilling 71-64 push over the Dover-Eyota.
The Eagles entered the contest with a 21-2 overall and 15-2 mark in conference play, but Caledonia avenged an earlier, eight-point loss at D-E. Senior Maddy Mullins poured in 24 points, and the Warriors took advantage of 25 Eagle turnovers to get the win.
Mullins scored eight points in the first half, six of them on perfect 6-6 shooting from the free throw line. Lauren Rusert added eight more, but D-E held a 34-31 lead at the break. A basket by Mullins, her only 3-pointer of the game, knotted the score at 36 all and the two teams battled back and forth for much of the second half. A basket by D-E’s Brandi Blattner gave the Eagles a 42-40 lead with 14:30 to play, but Mullins sank four straight free throws to tie the game at 46 all before a 3-pointer from D-E’s Krista Horn gave the Eagles a 49-46 lead. Horn then hit a duce to push the lead to 51-46.
The Warriors then took control of the game. Caledonia scored five straight to tie the game at 51 all, and a free throw from Rusert gave Caledonia a 52-51 lead. A basket by Maria Fruechte and Rusert’s third 3-pointer of the game pushed the lead to 57-5. But the Eagles got within two at 57-55 on a basket by Megan Hintz, her only basket of the game, with 7:10 to play. After a Taylor Winjum basket Horn hit another 3-pointer to close the lead to 59-58, but Mullins scored on two straight possessions for Caledonia to give the Warriors a 63-58 lead.
After a D-E free throw Mullins scored again to push the lead to 65-59 with five minutes to play. Clinging to a 67-62 lead Caledonia held off another Eagle run. Blattner scored with three minutes left for a 67-64 Caledonia lead, and Fruechte and Hannah Russert each made one free throw for a 69-64 lead. With 26 seconds to play Mullins was fouled and made one of two free throws, but Hannah Russert grabbed the miss and was fouled. Russert then made one of two from the charity stripe to give the Warriors a 71-64 win. Lauren Rusert finished with 17 points, Taylor Winjum 14 and Fruechte nine with nine rebounds and four blocked shots.
On Tuesday the Warriors hammered Wabasha-Kellogg 67-34 at WK with Winjum scoring 28, Rusert 13 and Fruechte 11. The team traveled to Southland Tuesday night and will host St. Charles Thursday night.
– Brady Ambrose