The second-seeded Pine River-Backus Tigers girls’ basketball team advanced to the East Subsection 5A championship game against top-seeded Isle on Tuesday, March 5, in McGregor after easily defeating the first two teams they faced in the playoffs. That winner advances to the Section 5A game on Friday, March 8, at Crosby-Ironton.
The Tigers, 23-4 overall, crushed Northland of Remer 90-38 on Thursday, Feb. 28 in their first playoff game, and then beat East Central 83-45 in the subsection semifinals on Saturday, March 2.
Tigers 90, Northland 38
PR-B quickly jumped out to a 17-0 lead in the first four minutes. With 14 minutes left in the opening half, the Eagles finally managed to score as they put in two points. Northland got two more points 30 seconds later, the Tigers answered with two points by Autumn Ackerman, and scored six more points including four by Tatum Sheley and two by Journee Howard to make it 25-4.
The Eagles got two points and hit a 3-pointer, Kendra Brasel and Howard combined for three points for PR-B, and Northland got two more points. The Eagles put in a free throw, and the Tigers got a 3-pointer from Sheley, four points from Kelley, and five points from Megan Felthous to make the score 40-12 with seven minutes left in the first half. Northland made another free throw and didn’t score again until right before the buzzer, while PR-B went on a 28-point run for a 68-15 halftime lead.
The Eagles outscored the Tigers 23-22 in the second half. All but two PR-B players scored, including eighth grader Shelbie Adkins, who posted her first varsity points toward the end of the second half as she got fouled on the shot, made the basket and the extra point. High scorer was Felthous with 24 points, nine rebounds, six steals, and one assist. Sheley had 21 points, six assists, two rebounds, and one steal. Ackerman had 12 points, eight rebounds, four steals, two assists, and two blocks. Kelley had 10 points, four rebounds, three blocks, two assists, and one steal. Howard finished with nine points, seven rebounds, and two steals. Brasel had eight points, seven steals, five assists, two rebounds, and two blocks. Adkins finished with three points, Liz Downie with two points, and Jess Hanneken added one point and three rebounds.
Tigers 83, East Central 45
The Tigers easily defeated the East Central Eagles in the semifinals on Saturday, March 2. PR-B won the tip and made the first points as Felthous put in a layup off an assist by Sheley with only eight seconds off the clock. Felthous scored two more points before the Eagles could make their first points to put the Tigers up 4-0. East Central put in two points, Sheley answered for the Tigers with her first of three 3-pointers, and Felthous made yet another two points to make it 9-2. The Eagles put in a 3-point shot, the Tigers put in six points including one by Kelley, three by Sheley, and two by Felthous.
East Central made two free throws, Ackerman scored two points off an assist by Sheley, the Eagles put in two points, and Howard scored three points to make the score 20-9 with 12 minutes left. PR-B got two points each from Felthous and Brasel within a minute, the Eagles scored five points, and the Tigers answered with five points including two from Kelley, and Sheley’s third 3-pointer. Northland put in a three pointer with nine minutes left in the first half, and the Tigers went on a 14-point run to make the score 43-17. The last five minutes of the opening were fairly even as Tigers enjoyed a 55-28 halftime advantage.
The Tigers outscored the Eagles 28-17 in the second half. High scorer was Felthous with 24 points, six rebounds, two assists, and two steals. Sheley had a double-double with 15 points, 13 assists, five rebounds, and four steals. Ackerman had 13 points, nine rebounds, two assists, two steals, and one block. Kelley finished with 13 points, six rebounds, three assists, three steals, and one block. Brasel had eight points, four assists, and two steals. Howard had seven points, three rebounds, two assists, and one steal. Brooke Richards added three points and two steals.