Jan. 3: 62-31 Win over Maple River
A 13-2 run from the Belle Plaine Tigers to open up their matchup against fellow Section 2AA contender in the Maple River Eagles set the tone for the remainder of the contest as the Eagles were forced to take an early timeout.
Three-pointers made up a significant portion of Belle Plaine’s points in the opening minutes of the game. Seconds after the tipoff, Tiger junior Sarah Lenz made herself an option past the arc and fired a clean 3-pointer.
Moments later and after scoring a straightforward layup, Belle Plaine’s Lauren Johnson fired a 3-pointer of her own as well as another bucket, putting the Tigers up 10-2. Fellow Tiger Lizzie Schmidt followed that up not long after with a 3-pointer of her own, which put the Tigers up 13-2 and sent the Eagles into their first timeout.
The Tigers extinguished most of the offensive fire the Eagles offered, and multiple waves of Tigers off the bench halted any would-be rebuttals from the visiting team late into the first half.
Tiger sophomore McKenna Ziemke, who led the Tigers’ offense with 19 points and defense with 7 rebounds, employed scrappy defense to interrupt multiple plays. Near the half-court line, Ziemke stripped a ball from the Eagles and carried it home for a bucket, which put the Tigers up 21-9. She followed that up with a clean 3-pointer moments later to give the Tigers a 24-11 lead.
At the end of the half, Schmidt remained a reliable option as she finished on multiple plays. A Lenz-assisted bucket from Schmidt closed the half out at 30-17 in favor of the Tigers, with little drama coming to Belle Plaine’s doorstep.
Contending with an atypical zone defense offered by the Eagles, the Tigers continued to score inside and outside the arc. Outscoring the Eagles 32-14 in the second half, Belle Plaine stayed patient and never gave Maple River the chance to look impressive and closed out the contest at 62-31, with multiple players scoring in the double digits, including Johnson with 17 and Schmidt with 11.
“This kind of team attack and balanced, unselfish scoring is why we are 9-1,” Belle Plaine head coach Mindy Chevalier said. “This was our first game back after winter break and I was very impressed with the energy, effort and confidence the girls played with.”
The section win will surely have seeding implications as the Tigers and the Eagles share multiple common opponents.
Tigers Ari Koepp and McKenna Herrmann both contributed to the win with a pair of rebounds and points each.
Jan. 6: 64-50 Win over Glencoe-Silver Lake
Led by Schmidt, who knocked down 22 points, the Tigers marched their way into their 10th win in a row when they defeated Glencoe-Silver Lake on the road on Monday, Jan. 6.
Belle Plaine came out firing and secured a 31-21 lead before heading to the locker room.
In the second half, GSL made things interesting, but the Tigers still outscored them 33-29 en route to a 64-50 non-conference win.
BPHS Girls Basketball Team Schedule / Results
Nov. 23: Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial 54, BP 53
Dec. 3: Southwest Christian 61, BP 71
Dec. 5: Lester Prairie/ Holy Trinity 53, BP 71
Dec. 7: Norwood Young America 39, BP 66
Dec. 12: Mayer Lutheran 59, BP 67
Dec. 13-14: Maple River Tournament - Blue Earth Area 30, BP 65 / St. Clair 51, BP 63
Dec. 17: Jordan 43, BP 45
Dec. 20: Sibley East 38, BP 56
Jan. 3: Maple River 31, BP 62
Jan. 6: Glencoe-Silver Lake 50, BP 64
Jan. 9: 7:30 p.m. vs. Tri-City United
Jan. 14: 7:30 p.m. @ Le Sueur-Henderson
Jan. 17: 7:30 p.m. vs. Southwest Christian
Jan. 20: 7:30 p.m. vs. Waterville-Elysian-Morristown
Jan. 23: 7:30 p.m. vs. Norwood Young America
Jan. 27: 7:30 p.m. vs. St. Peter
Jan. 28: 7:30 p.m. @ Mayer Lutheran
Jan. 31: 7:30 p.m. @ Jordan
Feb. 3: 7:30 p.m. @ New Ulm
Feb. 6: 7:30 p.m. vs. Sibley East
Feb. 11: 7:30 p.m. @ Tri-City United
Feb. 13: 7:30 p.m. @ Waseca
Feb. 14: 7:30 p.m. vs. Le Sueur-Henderson
Feb. 18: 7:30 p.m. vs. Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop
Minnesota River Conference Standings
Belle Plaine 5 0
Jordan 4 1
Mayer Lutheran 3 1
Southwest Christian 2 2
NYA Central 2 3
Tri-City United 2 3
Sibley East 1 4
LeSueur-Henderson 0 5