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Ethan claims District 8B title

Ethan defended its District 8B title on Saturday at the Corn Palace -- literally. Led by its trademark defense, the Ethan girls basketball team claimed another district crown with a convincing 50-24 win over Howard. "I think we did a great job de...

Ethan's Janae Gustafson (24) goes up for a shot against Howard's Cayla Koepsell (10) on Saturday at the Corn Palace. Ethan's Rachel Hawkins (22) and Howard's Bailey Rudebusch, right, look on. (Ryan Deal/Republic)
Ethan's Janae Gustafson (24) goes up for a shot against Howard's Cayla Koepsell (10) on Saturday at the Corn Palace. Ethan's Rachel Hawkins (22) and Howard's Bailey Rudebusch, right, look on. (Ryan Deal/Republic)

Ethan defended its District 8B title on Saturday at the Corn Palace -- literally.

Led by its trademark defense, the Ethan girls basketball team claimed another district crown with a convincing 50-24 win over Howard.

“I think we did a great job defensively,” Ethan guard Kacey Bartscher said. “Like coach said before the game, ‘Offense isn’t always there. We just need to dig in defensively, because defense wins games.’ ”

It won the Rustlers (21-1) their third straight district title. Ethan will now play Oldham-Ramona/Rutland in the Region 4B title game on Thursday in Madison.

The Tigers played right with the Rustlers through the first eight minutes on Saturday. They even led 6-2 early on and the two teams were deadlocked at 11-11 after the first period.

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“The ball didn’t go in the hole and you have to give Howard credit, they played good defense tonight, but they also came ready to play and they weren’t afraid,” Ethan coach Tom Young said.

But after allowing the Tigers to hit four field goals in the first period, the Rustlers tightened things up defensively. Howard managed to hit just three total field goals after the first quarter.

“When they switched from man to the 1-3-1 zone, I think that had an impact on us,” Howard coach Wade Erickson said. “They run that defense so well and they don’t make mistakes.”

They also took control of the game without one of their top players. Sophomore Karly Gustafson was whistled for her third foul midway through the second quarter, but the Rustlers rolled right along with her on the bench.

“That is just what we’ve been doing all year,” Young said. “I don’t have really five starters. I really have six and that’s really an advantage for us going forward and actually throughout the year it has been a really good advantage.”

Even with Gustafson sitting for most of the second quarter, Ethan led 26-14 at halftime. The Rustlers later stretched their lead to 20 points as they continued to defend at a high level.

“They seem like they deflect everything we try to pass and my hats off to them,” Erickson said. “That is a great basketball team.”

Bartscher paced another balanced scoring attack for the Rustlers. She finished with 14 points and hit a pair of 3-pointers.

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Despite being hampered with foul trouble, Gustafson still finished with eight points and four rebounds. Ellie Hohn added eight points and Janae Gustafson scored seven.

“That is another positive that we have,” Bartscher said about the depth. “We have so many girls that can step up. We are so balanced when it comes to scoring.”

Bailey Rudebusch tossed in nine points for the Tigers, who finish their season 17-6.

“It is a great season for us,” Erickson said. “We finished 17-6. It has been a long time since we’ve had that happen in Howard.”

Ethan has not played Oldham-Ramona/Rutland this season.

“We will enjoy it tonight and I am sure coach Young will have us in soon to start preparing,” Bartscher said.

 

Ethan 50, Howard 24

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Howard (17-6): Bailey Rudebusch 3 2-4 9, Macy Erickson 0 1-2 1, Martina Albrecht 1 5-7 7, Hilary Albrecht 2 0-2 4, Kyra Shumaker 1 0-0 3. Totals 7-31 8-15 24.

Ethan (21-1): Janae Gustafson 3 1-1 7, Ellie Hohn 3 2-3 8, Karly Gustafson 4 0-0 8, Rachel Hawkins 1 4-4 6, Kacey Bartscher 4 4-4 14, Jessica Endres 1 0-0 3, Amanda Miiller 2 0-0 4. Totals 18-32 11-15 50.

H 11 14 20 24

E 11 26 41 50

3-point field goals: H 2 (Rudebusch 1, Shumaker 1); E 3 (Bartscher 2, Endres 1). Rebounds: H 23 (Erickson 7); E 17 (Hohn 4, K. Gustafson 4, Hawkins 4). Assists: H 4 (H. Albrecht 2); E 6 (Hohn 2). Total fouls: H 16; E 11. Turnovers: H 22; E 14.

Related Topics: HOWARDCORN PALACEETHAN
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