Though they are unbeaten in the Northwoods Conference, the Pine River-Backus Tigers girls’ basketball team suffered their first loss of the season in a close 49-42 setback against the Verndale Pirates on Tuesday, Dec. 11.
The Tigers took more shots, had more steals, and had fewer turnovers than the Pirates, but Verndale made more of its shots than PR-B. The Pirates shot 51 percent from the field while the Tigers only made 33 percent. PR-B jumped to a 4-0 lead as Brittany Kelley and Autumn Ackerman each had baskets in the opening minute. Verndale scored two points, Kelley put in two points, and the Pirates put in another two points to make it 6-4. The Tigers didn’t score for four minutes while Verndale went on a nine-point run to assume a 13-6 lead. The Tigers trailed 33-22 at the half.
PR-B outscored Verndale 20-16 in the second half, but it wasn’t enough. The Tigers only made it to the free-throw line once during the first half while Verndale was at the charity stripe eight times. Kelley led the Tigers with 10 points, four rebounds, four assists, two steals, and two blocks. Ackerman, Megan Felthous, Kendra Brasel and Journee Howard each scored eight points. Ackerman had 12 rebounds and one block. Felthous had eight rebounds, six steals and five assists. Brasel had five assists, two steals and one rebound. Howard had five rebounds, two assists and two steals.
Tigers 54, W-H-A 26
The Tigers remained unbeaten in the Northwoods Conference play as they defeated the Walker-Hackensack-Akeley Wolves on Thursday, Dec. 13.
W-H-A scored the opening two points, but the Tigers came back and took over the game as they went on a seven-point run highlighted by two points each from Kelley and Megan Porta, and a three-pointer by Brasel. The Wolves scored another two points, and the Tigers answered with another six points, including four points by Ackerman.
The Tigers were up 24-8 at the half. In the second half, PR-B outscored the Wolves 30-18 to easily earn the win. Two of the Tigers’ non-starters got in on the scoring as Brooke Richards and Jess Hanneken each scored two points in the last minute of the game. Kelley, Ackerman, and Brasel led PR-B with 10 points apiece. Ackerman and Brasel each had nine rebounds and Kelley and Howard each had eight rebounds. Felthous finished with nine points, Porta had seven and Howard had four.
The Tigers, 4-0 in the conference and 4-1 overall, are scheduled to play the Northland Eagles in Remer on Thursday, Dec. 20.