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Ethan handles SCW

FORESTBURG--Ethan backed up its top ranking on Monday. The No. 1 Rustlers took care of No. 2 Sanborn Central/Woonsocket 62-29 during a Class B girls' basketball showdown in front of a packed gym in Forestburg. There was plenty of hype surrounding...

Ethan's Kacey Bartscher, right, drives past Sanborn Central/Woonsocket's Myah Selland, left, during a girls basketball game on Monday in Forestburg. (Matt Gade / Republic)
Ethan's Kacey Bartscher, right, drives past Sanborn Central/Woonsocket's Myah Selland, left, during a girls basketball game on Monday in Forestburg. (Matt Gade / Republic)

FORESTBURG-Ethan backed up its top ranking on Monday.

The No. 1 Rustlers took care of No. 2 Sanborn Central/Woonsocket 62-29 during a Class B girls' basketball showdown in front of a packed gym in Forestburg.

There was plenty of hype surrounding the game between the two Class B powers, but Ethan once again defended at a high level and handed the Blackhawks their first defeat of the season.

"It is a big win on the road against a really good team and they are very well coached," Ethan coach Tom Young said. "We had probably played our best game of the year."

The Rustlers (14-1) definitely played like it. They shot 20-for-43 from the field and 5-for-14 from the 3-point line.

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"Ethan is most definitely the best team we have played this year," SCW co-coach Tim McCain said. "They have a lot of weapons, a lot of experience back and they move the ball well. They have a little inside-outside game."

The Rustlers were paced by Karly Gustafson's 17 points and nine rebounds, while Janae Gustafson netted 10 points. Ellie Hohn, Kacey Bartscher and Rachel Hawkins each scored eight points for the balanced Rustlers.

But it was the defensive job Ethan did on all-state player Myah Selland and the rest of the Blackhawks (12-1) that made the difference. Selland, a future South Dakota State player, finished with 16 points and faced double and triple teams all night.

"Myah is a great player and our goal is just to try to make every shot she takes tough," Young said.

No other SCW player scored more than nine points and only four players scored. The Rustlers held SCW to a season-low point total.

"We played really good defense," Karly Gustafson said. "We had to key in on Myah, obviously, because she is a great player."

Ethan's offense, meanwhile, was clicking. The two teams exchanged shots early in the first quarter, but then the Rustlers pulled away.

"We talked about their physicality and we had to keep them off the offensive boards," McCain said. "I think we lost seven or eight points on that and then we were a little slow defensively and put them at the free throw line. They made a lot of free throws that first half."

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The Rustlers closed the first quarter on an 11-0 spurt, capped off by a Janae Gustafson 3-pointer to beat the buzzer.

"It was a really good run," Young said about the first-quarter surge. "Janae Gustafson really set the tone hitting two big threes and a couple free throws in that first quarter."

The Rustlers weren't done. They held SCW scoreless for seven minutes and went ahead 36-15 at halftime.

"That was definitely a good run there," Karly Gustafson said. "We played hard that first half and we just couldn't let up on that second half."

Ethan maintained its 20-point advantage in the second half and stretched it to 30 points late in the contest. The Blackhawks scored just two points in the fourth quarter.

Both teams will now prepare for tough opponents again tonight.

SCW will host Hanson tonight in Woonsocket.

"We still have got a lot of season left," McCain said. "We get to keep playing on and we play (tonight). Our big picture is what we want to do at the end of the year."

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The Rustlers will play undefeated Tripp-Delmont/Armour tonight in Armour.

"We definitely can't let up on that game because that is just another big game," Karly Gustafson said.

Ethan 62, Sanborn Central/Woonsocket 29

Ethan (14-1): Ellie Hohn 4 0-1 8, Kacey Bartscher 3 2-3 8, Janae Gustafson 3 2-2 10, Karly Gustafson 4 7-8 17, Rachel Hawkins 2 3-4 8, Amanda Miiller 1 3-4 5, Jo Miller 1 0-0 2, Patience Nesheim 1 0-0 2, Callie Hohn 1 0-0 2. Totals 20-43 17-22 62.

Sanborn Central/Woonsocket (12-1): Megan Poyer 1 0-2 2, Tristan Ziebert 0 0-2 0, Myah Selland 5 5-6 16, Kayla Olson 4 0-1 9, Sarah Morgan 0 0-1 0, Alissa Ball 1 0-0 2. Totals 11 5-16 29.

E 19 36 52 62

SCW 7 15 27 29

3-point field goals: E 5 (J. Gustafson 2, Karly Gustafson 2, Hawkins 1); SCW 2 (Selland 1, Olson 1). Rebounds: E 17 (K. Gustafson 9, A. Miiller 7); SCW 18 (Olson 4, Selland 4). Steals: E 11 (E. Hohn 3, K. Gustafson 3); SCW 5 (Selland 2). Assists: E 15 (E. Hohn 4); SCW 4. Turnovers: E 7; SCW 10. Total fouls: E 14; SCW 16.

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