New Richland H-E-G's Carlie Wagner takes the ball up court against Braham star Rebekah Dahlman (25) during the second half of New Richland's dramatic 60-59 victory in the Class 2A championship Saturday at the Target Center in Minneapolis. Wagner scored 50
Carlie Wagner scored a state tournament record 50 points, all but 10 of New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva’s output. But it was her defense that secured the Panthers’ 60-59 victory over Braham in the Class 2A championship Saturday.
Wagner’s tall frame and outstretched arms stopped the Bombers’ final possession in the final seconds at midcourt of the Target Center to end a game already being dubbed one of the best in girls’ basketball state history.
Just before that, she made a go-ahead free throw that provided the winning margin.
Wagner broke five state records in the game and tied another. Braham’s Rebekah Dahlman, a McDonald’s All-American and leading scorer in state girls’ basketball history, scored 30 in the second half to nearly rally her team to victory.
“You had two amazing athletes take it to the next level to make their teams successful,” NRHEG coach John Schultz said.
Wagner, who has committed to play for the Gophers, made her free throw and 50th point with 6.1 seconds remaining in regulation to give the Panthers the lead. She missed the second free throw but made sure Braham, which lost Dahlman’s services when she fouled out in the last minute, would get nowhere near the basket.
“After I missed that second free throw, I knew that I had to get it done on defense. I couldn’t let them get the ball up court,” Wagner, a junior guard, said. “I just did what I had to do.”
That meant breaking tournament records for most points in a game (50), most tournament points (129), most field-goal attempts in a game (43), most tournament field-goal attempts (110) and most field goals made (48). She also tied the record for most field goals made in a game (21).
Wagner’s twin sisters, Maddie and Marnie, scored eight of NRHEG’s other 10 points. Paige Overgaard had 12 rebounds.
Dahlman said, “We were this close. If we could just stop Carlie Wagner. She’s so good. I didn’t want to end my senior year being on the bench. I tried to take over as much as possible.”
Dahlman got into foul trouble in the first half and sat on the bench while scoring just two points. She fouled out with 37.4 seconds left in the game, forced to watch as Wagner closed out the game.
Dahlman said she forgot about her four fouls and regrettably grabbed Hannah Lundberg to stop NRHEG’s stalling tactic. As soon as the whistle blew, she realized what she had done. She left the court, tugging fitfully on her jersey, then went to the end of the bench and crouched down, her head bowed in disappointment.
“That changed the game when she left,” Wagner said.
Dahlman said she felt like she let her team down, but Kayla Nickles (12 points, eight rebounds) wouldn’t let it ruin Braham’s night. Nickles stole the ball with 26 seconds left and tied it 59-59 with a layup.
That set up the dramatic finish, with Wagner taking the ball toward the basket when she was fouled.
“It’s a team thing. I couldn’t have done it without my teammates. I give half the credit to them,” Wagner said. “I just wanted to prove something to our fans and our town, that small towns can do it.”
1. Carlie Wagner (New Richland-H-E-G) - Wow. Last night she ties her own single game scoring record of 48 points and this afternoon she tops that with 50. The Junior Gopher recruit hit 21 of 43 shots including many mid range jumpers that hit nothing but the bottom of the net. Wagner also grabbed 12 rebounds and had 3 steals. She broke single game records of most field goals attempted (43), field goals made (21 - tie), and most points scored (50). In addition, she broke tournament records of field goals attempted (110), field goals made (48), and points scored (129).
2. Rebekah Dahlman (Braham) - Senior Rebekah Dahlman sat most of the first half with 3 fouls and only 2 points. She came out in the second half on a tear and finished with 32 points, 8 boards and 4 assists. The Vanderbilt commit knocked down 11-14 FT's and finishes her career as the Minnesota Girl's all-time leading scorer with 5,060 points.
3. Kayla Nickles (Braham) - Nickles was also key in Brahams come back in the second half. She had to guard Carlie Wagner in the second half with Dahlman in foul trouble. She scored 10 of her 12 points in the second half and pulled down 8 rebounds in the game.
- Pete Heldstab, MN Girls Basketball Hub