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Hill-Murray comes from behind against Red Wing

By Amelia Rayno, Star Tribune Staff Writer, 03/16/11, 12:00PM CDT


The Pioneers overcame a second-half deficit to pull off a 72-52 win

Top-ranked and heavy favorite Hill-Murray fought through a scary first half, but finished as strong as ever.

Playing from nine points behind, the Pioneers — behind  10 points in the second half and 15 total from by junior Claire Van Dyk — “played their game,” eradicated the Red Wing advantage and went on to win 72-52 in the 3A quarterfinals at Williams Arena on Wednesday.

“I think we all knew it could be our last game and we had to step up,” said Hill-Murray’s Bethany Doolittle, who had 24 points. “We were all leaning on each other’s backs, and I think that helped us a lot. We just had to do what we had to do.”

The Pioneers got out to a quick 14-6 lead, but the Wingers, inspired by a 11-point first half performance by Danielle Brooks, powered back. Red Wing brought the deficit within two on a three-pointer from Macy Kelly with less than five minutes remaining, then tied it with a minute left and then again just before the buzzer sounded to go into halftime neck and neck.

“We knew they could shoot, we knew they could play good defense, we knew they could rebound … they did all those things that they’re good at well today,” Pioneers coach Erin Herman said. “It was a tough game.”

Red Wing continued the aggressive comeback in the second half, leading with a 9-0 run to put it up 40-31. But about seven minutes into the second half, the Pioneers retook the lead and then pushed it to 10 points on two consecutive three-point shots by Corrine McCallum.

“When Corrine hits those shots, the whole team just relaxes,” Herman said. “Hopefully, the jitters are over. You got yourself in trouble; you got yourself out. Now let’s go.”

Tessa Cichy added 18 in the win.

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