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High school notebook: Ethan, Corsica-Stickney on collision course

The Ethan girls basketball team will go from one No. 1 vs. No. 2 showdown to the next. The No. 1 Rustlers picked up a 49-28 statement win over then-No. 2 Warner during the nightcap of last Saturday's Hanson Classic at the Corn Palace. "We saw how...

Ethan's Jessica Bartscher, right, drives to the basket against Warner's Sydney Leidholt on Saturday during the Hanson Classic at the Corn Palace. (Ryan Deal / Republic)
Ethan's Jessica Bartscher, right, attacks the basket against Warner's Sydney Leidholt on Saturday during the Hanson Classic at the Corn Palace. (Ryan Deal / Republic)

The Ethan girls basketball team will go from one No. 1 vs. No. 2 showdown to the next.

The No. 1 Rustlers picked up a 49-28 statement win over then-No. 2 Warner during the nightcap of last Saturday's Hanson Classic at the Corn Palace.

"We saw how good we can play and just how we can play together," Ethan senior post Karly Gustafson said. "So that will definitely help us get going for the rest of the season."

Earlier in the night, Corsica-Stickney defeated then-No. 3 De Smet 56-40 at the event and it catapulted the Jaguars to No. 2 in the latest Class B girls basketball poll.

"It's definitely a nice confidence boost," Corsica-Stickney senior guard Courtney Menning said. "Especially off the season like last year where we fell short in regions. So it's definitely nice to comeback and have a nice season like this."

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The Rustlers (8-0) and Jaguars (9-0) will now meet in Stickney on Friday in another highly-anticipated Class B contest. Friday's contest will feature an established program in Ethan, which has qualified for four straight state tournaments. On the other side, the upstart Jaguars are gunning for their first state tournament berth since 2011.

But both coaches-Ethan's Tom Young and Corsica-Stickney's Lorisa Broughton-aren't looking past their opponents leading into the game.

Ethan hosts Menno (7-3) today and Young said it's the start of a "big stretch," for the Rustlers.

"They are going to be good," Young said. "The rest of our schedule is tough. We have several games that we can just keep getting better."

Corsica-Stickney plays Andes Central/Dakota Christian (7-2) today in New Holland before it plays the Rustlers and perennial power Avon on Saturday.

"We have a tough span coming up," Broughton said. "... We've had a heck of a schedule. We've had a lot of back to backs and we have a back to back, Ethan to Avon."

Van Roekel hits memorable shot at Hanson Classic

Gustafson had another solid game at the Hanson Classic, but Ethan's other Carly stole the show.

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Gustafson finished with 28 points in the win over Warner, which paved the way for teammate Carly Van Roekel to do her thing.

Van Roekel, who has Down syndrome, entered late in the contest and hit a layup as the Corn Palace erupted in applause.

"We love Carly and to be able to get her a shot is always way more fun than winning the game sometimes," Gustafson said.

The shot was nothing new for the Rustlers.

"I have got to experience that moment many times," Young said. "It's amazing because I think Carly is shooting maybe over 50 percent in her career. Carly scores a lot of points. She could be getting near the 100-point mark. It's amazing. Every game she gets in, she scores."

But to have it happen at the prestigious Hanson Classic made it that much more special.

"That was really special," Young said. "It was special for the girls. The girls love her. I love her. She's just a special part of our team."

Warner coach Stewart Bohle also helped make it possible and said the moment was bigger than anything win or loss.

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"What happened at the end is what it's all about and so I am proud of our kids for allowing that to happen," Bohle said. "That means more to me than anything."

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Corsica-Stickney's Rachel Gerlach (44) puts up a shot against De Smet's Reyna Beck, left, and Raegan Burke on Saturday during the Hanson Classic at the Corn Palace. (Ryan Deal / Republic)

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